Meaning of BREAK in English

I. ˈbrāk verb

( broke ˈbrōk ; bro·ken ˈbrō-kən ; break·ing )

Etymology: Middle English breken, from Old English brecan; akin to Old High German brehhan to break, Latin frangere

Date: before 12th century

transitive verb


a. : to separate into parts with suddenness or violence

b. : fracture

break an arm

c. : rupture

break the skin

d. : to cut into and turn over the surface of

break the soil

e. : to render inoperable

broke his watch


a. : violate , transgress

break the law

break a promise

b. : to invalidate (a will) by action at law


a. archaic : to force entry into

b. : to burst and force a way through

break the sound barrier

break a racial barrier

c. : to escape by force from

break jail

d. : to make or effect by cutting, forcing, or pressing through

break a trail through the woods

4. : to disrupt the order or compactness of

break formation

5. : to make ineffective as a binding force

break the spell


a. : to defeat utterly and end as an effective force : destroy

used starvation to break the enemy

b. : to crush the spirit of

brutal methods broke the prisoner

c. : to make tractable or submissive: as

(1) past participle often broke : to train (an animal) to adjust to the service or convenience of humans

a halter- broke horse

(2) : inure , accustom

d. : to exhaust in health, strength, or capacity

broken by his struggle for power


a. : to stop or bring to an end suddenly : halt

break a deadlock

b. : interrupt , suspend

break the silence with a cry

c. : to open and bring about suspension of operation

break an electric circuit

d. : to destroy unity or completeness of

break a dining room set by buying a chair

e. : to change the appearance of uniformity of

a dormer break s the level roof

f. : to split the surface of

fish break ing water

g. : to cause to discontinue a habit

tried to break him of smoking


a. : to make known : tell

break the bad news gently

b. : to bring to attention or prominence initially

radio stations break ing new musicians

break a news story


a. : to ruin financially

break the bank

b. : to reduce in rank

broken from sergeant to private


a. : to split into smaller units, parts, or processes : divide


(1) : to give or get the equivalent of (a bill) in smaller denominations

(2) : to use as the denomination in paying a bill

didn't want to break a $20 bill

— often used with into, up, or down


a. : to check the speed, force, or intensity of

the bushes will break his fall

without break ing her stride

b. : to cause failure and discontinuance of (a strike) by measures outside bargaining processes

12. : to cause a sudden significant decrease in the price, value, or volume of

news likely to break the market sharply


a. : exceed , surpass

break the record

b. : to score less than (a specified total)

a golfer trying to break 90

c. : to win against (an opponent's service) in tennis

d. : to make (a run) in football by getting past defenders

broke a 20-yard run

14. : to open the action of (a breechloader)


a. : to find an explanation or solution for : solve

the detective broke the case

b. : to discover the essentials of (a code or cipher system)

16. : to demonstrate the falsity of

break an alibi

17. : to ruin the prospects of

could make or break her career

18. : to produce visibly

barely break s a sweat

intransitive verb


a. : to escape with sudden forceful effort

the attacker broke from the throng

b. : to come into being by or as if by bursting forth

day was break ing

c. : to effect a penetration

break through security lines

d. : to emerge through the surface of the water

e. : to start abruptly

when the storm broke

f. : to become known or published

when the news broke

g. : to make a sudden dash

break for cover

h. : to separate after a clinch in boxing

i. : to achieve initial success in usually a sudden or striking way

her song broke nationally

j. : to begin a race

the horse broke poorly


a. : to come apart or split into pieces : fragment , shatter

the cup broke when it fell

b. : to open spontaneously or by pressure from within

the blister broke

c. of a wave : to curl over and fall apart in surf or foam

3. : to interrupt one's activity or occupation for a brief period

break for lunch

4. : to alter sharply in tone, pitch, or intensity

a voice break ing with emotion

5. : to become fair : clear

when the weather break s

6. : to make the opening shot of a game of pool

7. : to end a relationship, connection, or agreement — usually used with with or from

8. : to give way in disorderly retreat


a. : to swerve suddenly

b. : to curve from a straight path

a pitch that break s away from the batter

a putt that break s left


a. : to fail in health, strength, vitality, resolve, or control

may break under questioning

b. : to become inoperative because of damage, wear, or strain

the pump broke

11. : to fail to keep a prescribed gait — used of a horse

12. : to undergo a sudden significant decrease in price, value, or volume

transportation stocks may break sharply

13. : happen , develop

for the team to succeed, everything has to break right

14. : to win against an opponent's service in tennis


a. : to divide into classes, categories, or types — usually used with into

the rose is broken into several varieties

b. : to fold, bend, lift, or come apart at a seam, groove, or joint

c. of cream : to separate during churning into liquid and fat

- break a leg

- break bread

- break camp

- break cover

- break even

- break free

- break ground

- break into

- break one's heart

- break one's wrists

- break ranks

- break the back of

- break the ice

- break wind

II. noun

Date: 14th century


a. : an act or action of breaking

b. : the opening shot in a game of pool or billiards


a. : a condition produced by or as if by breaking : gap

a break in the clouds

b. : a gap in an otherwise continuous electric circuit

3. : the action or act of breaking in, out, or forth

at break of day

a jail break

4. : a place or situation at which a break occurs: as

a. : the place at which a word is divided especially at the end of a line of print or writing

b. : the point or location at which waves break for surfing

5. : an interruption in continuity

a break in the weather


a. : a notable change of subject matter, attitude, or treatment


(1) : an abrupt, significant, or noteworthy change or interruption in a continuous process, trend, or surface

(2) : a respite from work, school, or duty

coffee break

spring break

(3) : relief from annoyance — often used to express exasperation or irritation in phrases like give me a break

(4) : a planned interruption in a radio or television program

a break for the commercial

c. : deviation of a pitched baseball from a straight line

d. mining : fault , dislocation

e. : failure of a horse to maintain the prescribed gait

f. : an abrupt change in musical or vocal pitch or quality

g. : the action or an instance of breaking service in tennis

h. : a usually solo instrumental passage in jazz, folk, or popular music


a. : dash , rush

a base runner making a break for home

b. : fast break

7. : a sudden and abrupt decline of prices or values


a. : the start of a race

b. : the act of separating after a clinch in boxing


a. : a stroke of luck and especially of good luck

a bad break

got the break s

b. : a favorable or opportune situation : chance

waiting for a big break in show business

c. : favorable consideration or treatment

a tax break

a break on the price


a. : a rupture in previously agreeable relations

a break between the two countries

b. : an abrupt split or difference with something previously adhered to or followed

a sharp break with tradition

11. : breakdown 1c

suffered a mental break

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.