break
noun.
some abrupt occurrence that interrupts an ongoing activity
the telephone is an annoying interruption|there was a break in the action when a player was hurt
Synonym: interruption
noun.
an unexpected piece of good luck
he finally got his big break
noun.
(geology) a crack in the earth's crust resulting from the displacement of one side with respect to the other
they built it right over a geological fault|he studied the faulting of the earth's crust
noun.
a personal or social separation (as between opposing factions)
they hoped to avoid a break in relations
noun.
a pause from doing something (as work)
we took a 10-minute break|he took time out to recuperate
noun.
the act of breaking something
the breakage was unavoidable
Synonym: breakage, breaking
noun.
a time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of something
noun.
breaking of hard tissue such as bone
it was a nasty fracture|the break seems to have been caused by a fall
Synonym: fracture
noun.
the occurrence of breaking
the break in the dam threatened the valley
noun.
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
noun.
the opening shot that scatters the balls in billiards or pool
noun.
(tennis) a score consisting of winning a game when your opponent was serving
he was up two breaks in the second set
noun.
an act of delaying or interrupting the continuity
it was presented without commercial breaks|there was a gap in his account
noun.
a sudden dash
he made a break for the open door
noun.
any frame in which a bowler fails to make a strike or spare
the break in the eighth frame cost him the match
Synonym: open frame
noun.
an escape from jail
the breakout was carefully planned
verb.
terminate
She interrupted her pregnancy|break a lucky streak|break the cycle of poverty
Synonym: interrupt
verb.
become separated into pieces or fragments
The figurine broke|The freshly baked loaf fell apart
verb.
render inoperable or ineffective
You broke the alarm clock when you took it apart!
verb.
ruin completely
He busted my radio!
Synonym: bust
verb.
destroy the integrity of; usually by force; cause to separate into pieces or fragments
He broke the glass plate|She broke the match
verb.
act in disregard of laws, rules, contracts, or promises
offend all laws of humanity|violate the basic laws or human civilization|break a law|break a promise
verb.
move away or escape suddenly
The horses broke from the stable|Three inmates broke jail|Nobody can break out--this prison is high security
verb.
scatter or part
The clouds broke after the heavy downpour
verb.
force out or release suddenly and often violently something pent up
break into tears|erupt in anger
Synonym: burst, erupt
verb.
prevent completion
stop the project|break off the negotiations
verb.
enter someone's (virtual or real) property in an unauthorized manner, usually with the intent to steal or commit a violent act
Someone broke in while I was on vacation|They broke into my car and stole my radio!|who broke into my account last night?
Synonym: break in
verb.
make submissive, obedient, or useful
The horse was tough to break|I broke in the new intern
Synonym: break in
verb.
fail to agree with; be in violation of; as of rules or patterns
This sentence violates the rules of syntax
verb.
surpass in excellence
She bettered her own record|break a record
Synonym: better
verb.
make known to the public information that was previously known only to a few people or that was meant to be kept a secret
The auction house would not disclose the price at which the van Gogh had sold|The actress won't reveal how old she is|bring out the truth|he broke the news to her|unwrap the evidence in the murder case|The newspaper uncovered the President's illegal dealings
verb.
come into being
light broke over the horizon|Voices broke in the air
verb.
stop operating or functioning
The engine finally went|The car died on the road|The bus we travelled in broke down on the way to town|The coffee maker broke|The engine failed on the way to town|her eyesight went after the accident
verb.
interrupt a continued activity
She had broken with the traditional patterns
Synonym: break away
verb.
make a rupture in the ranks of the enemy or one's own by quitting or fleeing
The ranks broke
verb.
curl over and fall apart in surf or foam, of waves
The surf broke
verb.
lessen in force or effect
soften a shock|break a fall
Synonym: damp, dampen, soften, weaken
verb.
be broken in
If the new teacher won't break, we'll add some stress
verb.
come to an end
The heat wave finally broke yesterday
verb.
vary or interrupt a uniformity or continuity
The flat plain was broken by tall mesas
verb.
cause to give up a habit
She finally broke herself of smoking cigarettes
verb.
give up
break cigarette smoking
verb.
come forth or begin from a state of latency
The first winter storm broke over New York
verb.
happen or take place
Things have been breaking pretty well for us in the past few months
verb.
cause the failure or ruin of
His peccadilloes finally broke his marriage|This play will either make or break the playwright
verb.
invalidate by judicial action
The will was broken
verb.
discontinue an association or relation; go different ways
The business partners broke over a tax question|The couple separated after 25 years of marriage|My friend and I split up
verb.
assign to a lower position; reduce in rank
She was demoted because she always speaks up|He was broken down to Sergeant
verb.
reduce to bankruptcy
My daughter's fancy wedding is going to break me!|The slump in the financial markets smashed him
Synonym: bankrupt, ruin, smash
verb.
change directions suddenly
verb.
emerge from the surface of a body of water
The whales broke
verb.
break down, literally or metaphorically
The wall collapsed|The business collapsed|The dam broke|The roof collapsed|The wall gave in|The roof finally gave under the weight of the ice
verb.
do a break dance
Kids were break-dancing at the street corner
verb.
exchange for smaller units of money
I had to break a $100 bill just to buy the candy
verb.
destroy the completeness of a set of related items
The book dealer would not break the set
Synonym: break up
verb.
make the opening shot that scatters the balls
verb.
separate from a clinch, in boxing
The referee broke the boxers
verb.
go to pieces
The lawn mower finally broke|The gears wore out|The old chair finally fell apart completely
verb.
break a piece from a whole
break a branch from a tree
verb.
become punctured or penetrated
The skin broke
verb.
pierce or penetrate
The blade broke her skin
verb.
be released or become known; of news
News of her death broke in the morning
verb.
cease an action temporarily
We pause for station identification|let's break for lunch
Synonym: intermit, pause
verb.
interrupt the flow of current in
break a circuit
verb.
undergo breaking
The simple vowels broke in many Germanic languages
verb.
find a flaw in
break an alibi|break down a proof
verb.
find the solution or key to
break the code
verb.
change suddenly from one tone quality or register to another
Her voice broke to a whisper when she started to talk about her children
verb.
happen
Report the news as it develops|These political movements recrudesce from time to time
verb.
become fractured; break or crack on the surface only
The glass cracked when it was heated
Synonym: check, crack
verb.
crack; of the male voice in puberty
his voice is breaking--he should no longer sing in the choir
verb.
fall sharply
stock prices broke
verb.
fracture a bone of
I broke my foot while playing hockey
Synonym: fracture
verb.
diminish or discontinue abruptly
The patient's fever broke last night
verb.
weaken or destroy in spirit or body
His resistance was broken|a man broken by the terrible experience of near-death
Antonym: repair, make, keep