Meaning of BREAKTHROUGH in English


break ‧ through /ˈbreɪkθruː/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

an important new discovery in something you are studying, especially one made after trying for a long time

breakthrough in

Scientists have made a major breakthrough in the treatment of cancer.

⇨ break through at ↑ break 1

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■ verbs

▪ make a breakthrough

Detectives think they may have made a breakthrough in their hunt for the murderer.

▪ achieve a breakthrough

With further funding, the research team hope to be able to achieve a breakthrough.

▪ represent a breakthrough

This represents a major breakthrough in the search for a cure.

■ adjectives

▪ a big/major breakthrough

Einstein believed he was on the verge of a big breakthrough.

▪ a significant/important breakthrough

Another very significant breakthrough has been made by Dr David Peacock.

▪ a technological/scientific breakthrough

Their findings led to a major technological breakthrough.

▪ a historic breakthrough

The agreement was a historic breakthrough in political history.

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▪ progress noun [uncountable] /ˈprəʊɡres $ ˈprɑː-/ the process of getting better at doing something, or getting closer to finishing or achieving something:

a test of the students' progress.


We have made good progress towards meeting our objectives.

▪ advance noun [countable usually plural] /ədˈvɑːns $ ədˈvæns/ a discovery, invention, or change that brings progress:

the technological advances of the twentieth century


advances in scientific knowledge


In recent years there have been enormous economic and social advances.

▪ breakthrough noun [countable] /ˈbreɪkθruː/ an important discovery or achievement that makes progress possible, especially one that happens suddenly after a long period of trying:

Scientists have described the discovery as a major breakthrough.


The breakthrough in the investigation came when police found a stolen car.

▪ make headway to make progress towards achieving something – used especially when it is difficult to make progress:

After several months of discussion, the committee had made little headway.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.