break


break
[[t]bre͟ɪk[/t]]
breaks, breaking, broke, broken
1) V-ERG When an object breaks or when you break it, it suddenly separates into two or more pieces, often because it has been hit or dropped.

[V n] He fell through the window, breaking the glass...

The plate broke...

[V n into pl-n] Break the cauliflower into florets...

[V into pl-n] The plane broke into three pieces.

[V-ed] ...bombed-out buildings, surrounded by broken glass and rubble...

[V-ing] The only sound was the crackle of breaking ice.

2) V-ERG If you break a part of your body such as your leg, your arm, or your nose, or if a bone breaks, you are injured because a bone cracks or splits.

[V n] She broke a leg in a skiing accident...

Old bones break easily...

[V-ed] Several people were treated for broken bones.

N-COUNT
Break is also a noun.

It has caused a bad break to Gabriella's leg.

3) V-ERG If a surface, cover, or seal breaks or if something breaks it, a hole or tear is made in it, so that a substance can pass through.

[V n] Once you've broken the seal of a bottle there's no way you can put it back together again...

The bandage must be put on when the blister breaks...

[V-ed] Do not use the cream on broken skin.

4) V-ERG When a tool or piece of machinery breaks or when you break it, it is damaged and no longer works.

When the clutch broke, the car was locked into second gear...

[V-ed] Tenants do not have to worry about leaking roofs and broken washing machines. [Also V n]

5) VERB If you break a rule, promise, or agreement, you do something that you should not do according to that rule, promise, or agreement.

[V n] We didn't know we were breaking the law...

[V n] The company has consistently denied it had knowingly broken arms embargoes.

[V-ed] ...broken promises.

6) VERB If you break free or loose, you free yourself from something or escape from it.

[V adj] She broke free by thrusting her elbow into his chest.

[V adj] ...his inability to break free of his marriage.

7) VERB If someone breaks something, especially a difficult or unpleasant situation that has existed for some time, they end it or change it.

[V n] The Home Secretary aims to break the vicious circle between disadvantage and crime...

[V n] New proposals have been put forward to break the deadlock among rival factions...

[V n] The country is heading towards elections which may break the party's long hold on power.

N-COUNT: usu sing
Break is also a noun.

Nothing that might lead to a break in the deadlock has been discussed yet.

8) VERB If someone or something breaks a silence, they say something or make a noise after a long period of silence.

[V n] Hugh broke the silence. `Is she always late?' he asked...

[V n] The unearthly silence was broken by a shrill screaming.

9) N-COUNT If there is a break in the cloud or weather, it changes and there is a short period of sunshine or fine weather.

A sudden break in the cloud allowed rescuers to spot Michael Benson.

10) VERB If you break with a group of people or a traditional way of doing things, or you break your connection with them, you stop being involved with that group or stop doing things in that way.

[V with n] In 1959, Akihito broke with imperial tradition by marrying a commoner...

[V from n] They were determined to break from precedent...

[V n with n] They have yet to break the link with the trade unions. [Also V n]

N-COUNT: usu sing
Break is also a noun.

Making a completely clean break with the past, the couple got rid of all their old furniture.

11) VERB If you break a habit or if someone breaks you of it, you no longer have that habit.

[V n] If you continue to smoke, keep trying to break the habit...

[V n of n] The professor hoped to break the students of the habit of looking for easy answers.

12) VERB To break someone means to destroy their determination and courage, their success, or their career.

[V n] He never let his jailers break him...

[V n] The newspapers and television can make or break you...

[V-ed] Ken's wife, Vicki, said: `He's a broken man.'

Syn:
13) VERB If someone breaks for a short period of time, they rest or change from what they are doing for a short period.

They broke for lunch.

14) N-COUNT: oft N from/in n A break is a short period of time when you have a rest or a change from what you are doing, especially if you are working or if you are in a boring or unpleasant situation.
See also , tea break

They may be able to help with childcare so that you can have a break...

I thought a 15 min break from his work would do him good...

She rang Moira during a coffee break.

15) N-COUNT A break is a short holiday.

They are currently taking a short break in Spain.

16) VERB If you break your journey somewhere, you stop there for a short time so that you can have a rest.

[V n] Because of the heat we broke our journey at a small country hotel.

17) VERB To break the force of something such as a blow or fall means to weaken its effect, for example by getting in the way of it.

[V n] He sustained serious neck injuries after he broke someone's fall.

18) VERB When a piece of news breaks, people hear about it from the newspapers, television, or radio.

The news broke that the Prime Minister had resigned...

He resigned from his post as Bishop when the scandal broke.

19) VERB When you break a piece of bad news to someone, you tell it to them as kindly as you can.

[V n] Then Louise broke the news that she was leaving me...

[V n to n] I worried for ages and decided that I had better break it to her.

20) N-COUNT A break is a lucky opportunity that someone gets to achieve something. [INFORMAL]

He went into TV and got his first break playing opposite Sid James in the series 'Citizen James'.

21) VERB If you break a record, you beat the previous record for a particular achievement.
See also record-breaking

[V n] Carl Lewis has broken the world record in the 100 metres...

[V n] Jurassic Park has broken all box office records.

22) VERB When day or dawn breaks, it starts to grow light after the night has ended.
See also daybreak

They continued the search as dawn broke.

23) VERB When a wave breaks, it passes its highest point and turns downwards, for example when it reaches the shore.

Danny listened to the waves breaking against the shore.

24) VERB If you break a secret code, you work out how to understand it.

[V n] It was feared they could break the Allies' codes.

Syn:
25) VERB If someone's voice breaks when they are speaking, it changes its sound, for example because they are sad or afraid.

Godfrey's voice broke, and halted.

26) VERB When a boy's voice breaks, it becomes deeper and sounds more like a man's voice.

He sings with the strained discomfort of someone whose voice hasn't quite broken.

27) VERB If the weather breaks or a storm breaks, it suddenly becomes rainy or stormy after a period of sunshine.

I've been waiting for the weather to break...

She hoped she'd be able to reach the hotel before the storm broke.

28) VERB In tennis, if you break your opponent's serve, you win a game in which your opponent is serving.

[V n] He broke McEnroe's serve.

N-COUNT
Break is also a noun.

A single break of serve settled the first two sets.

29) See also , broken, , heartbreaking, , outbreak
30) PHRASE: prep PHR The break of day or the break of dawn is the time when it begins to grow light after the night. [LITERARY]

`I,' he finished poetically, `will watch over you to the break of day.'

31) CONVENTION (feelings) You can say `give me a break' to show that you are annoyed by what someone has said or done. [INFORMAL]

`I'm a real intellectual-type guy, Tracy,' James joked. `Oh, give me a break,' Tracy moaned.

32) PHRASE: V inflects If you make a break or make a break for it, you run to escape from something.

The moment had come to make a break or die...

Dan made a break for his car only to find the driver's door locked.

Syn:
make a run for
33) to break the banksee bank
to break coversee cover
to break evensee even
to break new groundsee ground
to break someone's heartsee heart
all hell breaks loosesee hell
to break the icesee ice
to break rankssee rank
to break windsee wind
Phrasal Verbs:

English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Break — (br[=a]k), v. t. [imp. {broke} (br[=o]k), (Obs. {Brake}); p. p. {Broken} (br[=o] k n), (Obs. {Broke}); p. pr. & vb. n. {Breaking}.] [OE. breken, AS. brecan; akin to OS. brekan, D. breken, OHG. brehhan, G. brechen, Icel. braka to creak, Sw. braka …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Break — (br[=a]k), v. i. 1. To come apart or divide into two or more pieces, usually with suddenness and violence; to part; to burst asunder. [1913 Webster] 2. To open spontaneously, or by pressure from within, as a bubble, a tumor, a seed vessel, a bag …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • break — ► VERB (past broke; past part. broken) 1) separate into pieces as a result of a blow, shock, or strain. 2) make or become inoperative; stop working. 3) interrupt (a continuity, sequence, or course). 4) fail to observe (a law, regulation, or… …   English terms dictionary

  • break — vb Break, crack, burst, bust, snap, shatter, shiver are comparable as general terms meaning fundamentally to come apart or cause to come apart. Break basically implies the operation of a stress or strain that will cause a rupture, a fracture, a… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • break — [brāk] vt. broke, broken, breaking [ME breken < OE brecan < IE base * bhreg > BREACH, BREECH, Ger brechen, L frangere] 1. to cause to come apart by force; split or crack sharply into pieces; smash; burst 2. a) …   English World dictionary

  • break — / brāk/ vb broke / brōk/, bro·ken, / brō kən/, break·ing, / brā kiŋ/ vt 1 a: violate transgress break the law …   Law dictionary

  • break — [n1] fissure, opening breach, cleft, crack, discontinuity, disjunction, division, fracture, gap, gash, hole, rent, rift, rupture, schism, split, tear; concepts 230,757 Ant. association, attachment, binding, combination, fastening, juncture break… …   New thesaurus

  • Break — (br[=a]k), n. [See {Break}, v. t., and cf. {Brake} (the instrument), {Breach}, {Brack} a crack.] 1. An opening made by fracture or disruption. [1913 Webster] 2. An interruption of continuity; change of direction; as, a break in a wall; a break in …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • break-up — break ups also breakup 1) N COUNT: usu N of n, n N The break up of a marriage, relationship, or association is the act of it finishing or coming to an end because the people involved decide that it is not working successfully. Since the break up… …   English dictionary

  • break up — {v.} 1. To break into pieces. * /The workmen broke up the pavement to dig up the pipes under it./ * /River ice breaks up in the spring./ 2. {informal} To lose or destroy spirit or self control. Usually used in the passive. * /Mrs. Lawrence was… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • break up — {v.} 1. To break into pieces. * /The workmen broke up the pavement to dig up the pipes under it./ * /River ice breaks up in the spring./ 2. {informal} To lose or destroy spirit or self control. Usually used in the passive. * /Mrs. Lawrence was… …   Dictionary of American idioms