n. 25B6; verb
the mirror broke : SHATTER, smash, crack, snap, fracture, fragment, splinter, fall to bits, fall to pieces; split, burst; informal bust.
she had broken her leg : FRACTURE, crack.
the bite had barely broken the skin : PIERCE, puncture, penetrate, perforate; cut.
the coffee machine has broken : STOP WORKING, break down, give out, go wrong, malfunction, crash; informal go kaput, conk out, be on the blink, give up the ghost; Brit. informal pack up.
traders who break the law : CONTRAVENE, violate, infringe, breach; defy, flout, disobey, fly in the face of.
his concentration was broken : INTERRUPT, disturb, interfere with.
they broke for coffee : STOP, pause, have a rest; N. Amer. recess; informal knock off, take five.
a pile of carpets broke his fall : CUSHION, soften the impact of, take the edge off.
the film broke box-office records : EXCEED, surpass, beat, better, cap, top, outdo, outstrip, eclipse; informal leave standing.
habits are very difficult to break : GIVE UP, relinquish, drop; informal kick, shake, pack in, quit.
the strategies used to break the union : DESTROY, crush, quash, defeat, vanquish, overcome, overpower, overwhelm, suppress, cripple; weaken, subdue, cow, undermine.
her self-control finally broke : GIVE WAY, crack, cave in, yield, go to pieces.
four thousand pounds wouldn't break him : BANKRUPT, ruin, pauperize.
he tried to break the news gently : REVEAL, disclose, divulge, impart, tell; announce, release.
he broke the encryption code : DECIPHER, decode, decrypt, unravel, work out; informal figure out.
the day broke fair and cloudless : DAWN, begin, start, emerge, appear.
a political scandal broke : ERUPT, break out.
the weather broke : CHANGE, alter, shift.
waves broke against the rocks : CRASH, dash, beat, pound, lash.
her voice broke as she relived the experience : FALTER, quaver, quiver, tremble, shake.
repair, keep, resume.
the magazine has been published without a break since 1950 : INTERRUPTION, interval, gap, hiatus; discontinuation, suspension, disruption, cut-off; stop, stoppage, cessation.
a break in the weather : CHANGE, alteration, variation.
let's have a break : REST, respite, recess; stop, pause; interval, intermission; informal breather, time out, down time.
a weekend break : HOLIDAY; N. Amer. vacation; Brit. informal vac.
a break in diplomatic relations : RIFT, schism, split, break-up, severance, rupture; Brit. informal bust-up.
a break in the wall : GAP, opening, space, hole, breach, chink, crack, fissure; tear, split.
(informal) the actress got her first break in 1951 : OPPORTUNITY, chance, opening.
25A0; break away
she attempted to break away from his grip : ESCAPE, get away, run away, flee, make off; break free, break loose, get out of someone's clutches; informal leg it, cut and run.
a group broke away from the main party : LEAVE, secede from, split off from, separate from, part company with, defect from; form a splinter group.
25A0; break down
his van broke down. : See break verb sense 4.
pay negotiations broke down : FAIL, collapse, founder, fall through, disintegrate; informal fizzle out.
Vicky broke down, sobbing loudly : BURST INTO TEARS; lose control, be overcome, go to pieces, crumble, disintegrate; informal crack up, lose it.
25A0; break something down
the police broke the door down : KNOCK DOWN, kick down, smash in, pull down, tear down, demolish.
break big tasks down into smaller parts : DIVIDE, separate.
graphs show how the information can be broken down : ANALYSE, categorize, classify, sort out, itemize, organize; dissect.
25A0; break in
thieves broke in and took her cheque book : COMMIT BURGLARY, break and enter; force one's way in, burst in.
I don't want to interfere, Mrs Hendry broke in : INTERRUPT, butt in, cut in, interject, interpose, intervene, chime in; Brit. informal chip in.
25A0; break someone in TRAIN, initiate; informal show someone the ropes.
25A0; break into
thieves broke into a house in Perth Street : BURGLE, rob; force one's way into, burst into.
Phil broke into the discussion : INTERRUPT, butt into, cut in on, intervene in.
he broke into a song : BURST INTO, launch into.
25A0; break off SNAP OFF, come off, become detached, become separated.
25A0; break something off
I broke off a branch from the tree : SNAP OFF, pull off, sever, detach.
they threatened to break off diplomatic relations : END, terminate, stop, cease, call a halt to, finish, dissolve; SUSPEND, discontinue; informal pull the plug on.
25A0; break out
he broke out of the detention centre : ESCAPE FROM, abscond from, flee from; get free.
fighting broke out : FLARE UP, start suddenly, erupt, burst out.
25A0; break up
the meeting broke up : END, finish, stop, terminate; adjourn; N. Amer. recess.
the crowd began to break up : DISPERSE, scatter, disband, part company.
Danny and I broke up last year : SPLIT UP, separate, part (company); divorce.
(informal) the whole cast broke up : BURST OUT LAUGHING, dissolve into laughter; informal fall about, crack up, crease up; theatrical slang corpse.
25A0; break something up
police tried to break up the crowd : DISPERSE, scatter, disband.
I'm not going to let you break up my marriage : WRECK, ruin, destroy.