break meaning

[ breik ] Pronunciation:   "break" in a sentence
Verb: break (broke,broken)  breyk
  1. Terminate
    "break a lucky streak"; "break the cycle of poverty"
Noun: break  breyk
  1. Some abrupt occurrence that interrupts an ongoing activity
    "there was a break in the action when a player was hurt"
    - interruption 
  2. An unexpected piece of good luck
    "he finally got his big break"
    - good luck, happy chance 
  3. (geology) a crack in the earth's crust resulting from the displacement of one side with respect to the other
    - fault, faulting, geological fault, shift, fracture 
  4. A personal or social separation (as between opposing factions)
    "they hoped to avoid a break in relations"
    - rupture, breach, severance, rift, falling out 
  5. A pause from doing something (as work)
    "we took a 10-minute break"
    - respite, recess, time out 
  6. The act of breaking something
    - breakage, breaking 
  7. A time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of something
    - pause, intermission, interruption, suspension 
  8. Breaking of hard tissue such as bone
    "the break seems to have been caused by a fall"
    - fracture 
  9. The occurrence of breaking
    "the break in the dam threatened the valley" 
  10. An abrupt change in the tone or register of the voice (as at puberty or due to emotion)
    "then there was a break in her voice" 
  11. The opening shot that scatters the balls in billiards or pool 
  12. (tennis) a score consisting of winning a game when your opponent was serving
    "he was up two breaks in the second set"
    - break of serve 
  13. An act of delaying or interrupting the continuity
    "it was presented without commercial breaks"
    - interruption, disruption, gap 
  14. A sudden dash
    "he made a break for the open door" 
  15. Any frame in which a bowler fails to make a strike or spare
    "the break in the eighth frame cost him the match"
    - open frame 
  16. An escape from jail
    - breakout, jailbreak, gaolbreak, prisonbreak, prison-breaking

Sounds like: brake

Derived forms: broken, breaks, broke, breaking

See also: break away, break down, break off, break out, break through, break up, breakable, breaker, fall

Type of: accident, alter, alteration, annul, appear, assign, avoid, become, blunt, break loose, break up, breakup, cease, chance event, change, change integrity, change of integrity, change state, cleft, come about, come forth, commute, convert, crack, crevice, crumble, cut and run, cut off, damage, dance, dash, deaden, decay, decrease, delay, delegate, depute, designate, destroy, detach, detachment, dilapidate, diminish, diphthongise [Brit], diphthongize, discontinue, disperse, disrespect, disrupt, dissipate, disunite, divide, domesticate, domesticise [Brit], domesticize, emerge, end, escape, exceed, exchange, express emotion, express feelings, fall, fall out, figure out, finish, fissure, flee, flight, fly, fortuity, get, get away, give up, go, go on, hap, happen, happening, harm, holdup, hurt, impoverish, injure, injury, interrupt, interval, intrude, invalidate, lay off, lessen, lick, modification, modify, natural event, nullify, occur, occurrence, occurrent, outdo, outgo [archaic], outmatch, outperform, outstrip, part, pass, pass off, pause, penetrate, perforate, puzzle out, quash, quit, reclaim, ruin, scatter, scissure, score, separate, separation, shift, shoot, shot, solve, spifflicate, spiflicate, spread out, sprint, stop, stroke, surmount, surpass, switch, take flight, take place, tame, tell, terminate, time interval, trauma, trespass, trip the light fantastic, trip the light fantastic toe, turn, vary, void, weaken, work, work out, wound

Antonym: keep, make, repair

Part of: billiards, pocket billiards, pool

Encyclopedia: Break Break, Break, Break

[American slang]
to divide into smaller parts.
  The glass broke up into a thousand pieces.
  It hit the f loor and broke up, f linging bits everywhere.


A change in direction of a plane; usually in reference to a wall.

verb, noun

verb (broke /; AmE / broken /; AmE /) [+ obj]


to do sth that is against the law; to not do what you have agreed or promised to do:

The group has been accused of breaking accounting rules.

They have broken the contract.

The president has broken his pre-election promises.

The company's financial model breaks all the rules of traditional finance.


to end a dispute or difficult situation, often by using strong action:

The company broke the strike by getting managers to work in the factory.

The government is trying to break the deadlock (= a failure to reach an agreement) between the union and employers.

Competitors have not been able to break PlayStation's stranglehold (= complete control) over the games market.


to reach a higher level or standard than has been done before:

A number of companies have broken $100 million in sales.

The movie broke all box-office records.

The shares briefly broke the $30 barrier.

The company has just broken the $200 million mark in annual revenues.


4 (especially AmE)

to exchange a piece of paper money for coins:

Can you break a twenty-dollar bill?


break even (Finance )

if a company or a piece of business breaks even, it earns just enough money to pay for its costs:

The company expects to break even by the end of 2006.

The group needs revenues of about €800 million to break even.

In less than a year, the new distribution centre broke even.


break ground (especially AmE) (Property )

when you break ground on a new building or the building breaks ground, you start building it:

The company will break ground on the plant by August 1 and begin production by February 1.

The plant is expected to start operations in 2009 and break ground in early 2006.

break new ground

to make a new discovery or do sth that has not been done before


make or break sb/sth

to be the thing that makes sb/sth either a success or a failure:

Transport costs can make or break a business.

The demand for higher pay became the make-or-break issue in the talks.


break above/below sth

to become slightly higher or lower than a particular figure or level:

The euro failed to break above its $1.82 high of the day before.

break down


(about a machine or a vehicle) to stop working because of a fault:

The telephone system has broken down.

I (= the car) broke down on the freeway.


to fail:

The partnership between the firms is breaking down.

Negotiations between the companies have broken down over the timing of the merger.


break down; break sth down

to separate into parts that are easier to analyse; to divide sth into parts in order to make it easier to analyse or to do:

Each task is broken down into step-by-step procedures.

Her approach to management breaks down into four principles.

a list of the company's sales, broken down by sales team (= a list which shows the total sales and the sales of each team)


break into sth


to start to operate in a particular area of business:

We're trying to break into the Japanese market.


to reach a particular level of success:

The company should break into profit for the first time this year.

They have broken into Business Week's list of top business schools.

break sth off

to end sth suddenly:

The company has broken off merger talks.

break through sth

to succeed in going beyond a particular level; to succeed in dealing with a difficult problem:

The firm's income has broken through the $10 million barrier.

He tried to break through the old ideas about marketing the product.

break up (into sth); break sth up (into sth)

to be divided into smaller parts; to divide sth in this way:

Tyco plans to break up into smaller companies.

The company will be broken up or sold.


noun [C]



a short period of time when you stop what you are doing and rest, eat, etc:

a coffee/lunch/tea break

a break for lunch

You should take a one-minute break from the computer every 30 minutes.

❖ to have/take a break


a short holiday/vacation; a short time when an activity stops before it starts again:

The markets resumed trading after a three day break.


a pause for advertisements in the middle of a television or radio programme:

More news after the break.

a commercial break

4 (AmE)

a reduction in an amount that you have to pay:

Customers who download the software from the Internet will get a price break.

We were given a break on our legal costs.

❖ to get/be given a break

5 (AmE)

a tax break

A major fall in prices on a financial market.


More:   Next
  1. it can break up a bad traffic snarl.
  2. at any moment they may break the veil.
  3. armed conflict may break out at any moment.
  4. i'm quite certain it would break his heart.
  5. we can break this process into two parts.

Related Words

  1. breadth-first search meaning
  2. breadth-height index meaning
  3. breadthways meaning
  4. breadthwise meaning
  5. breadwinner meaning
  6. break (so's) balls meaning
  7. break a code meaning
  8. break a habit meaning
  9. break a jest meaning
  10. break a lance with meaning
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