Meaning of BREAK in English

v. 1 break apart or up or asunder, fracture, rupture, break into bits, come apart, shatter, shiver, crack, crash, splinter, fragment, split, burst, explode, Colloq bust The ball flew over the fence and broke my neighbour's window She fell and broke her wrist. 2 reveal, announce, disclose, divulge, tell, make public Break the news to him gently 3 relax, ease up, improve, ameliorate, change for the better When will this spell of wet weather break? 4 demolish, smash, destroy, crush, ruin, defeat, foil, frustrate The power of the dictator was finally broken 5 ruin, bankrupt He's the man that broke the bank at Monte Carlo 6 weary, exhaust, wear out, weaken, debilitate Twenty years in the chain-gang had broken him completely 7 crush, overcome; cow, cripple, demoralize, weaken, undermine, discourage The divorce has broken her spirit 8 break in, tame, discipline, train, condition I used to break horses for a living 9 violate, transgress, disobey, contravene, defy, infringe, fail to observe, ignore, disregard, flout If you break the law, you'll regret it They broke the contract. 10 break off, discontinue, interrupt, sever, cut off; give up, suspend, disrupt We broke relations with Spain after the incident It is very difficult to break a habit of a lifetime. The narrative breaks at this point, to be taken up later. 11 break up, divide, disperse, scatter The rain is over and the clouds are breaking 12 break loose or away or forth, separate from, break out (of), escape (from), depart (from) The ship broke from its moorings during the storm 13 break forth, burst forth; emerge or come out suddenly The storm broke in all its fury After a little while, the sun broke through. 14 demote, Colloq bust He was broken from sergeant to private 15 break away. leave, depart, separate (oneself) A small group broke away from the established church to worship as they saw fit 16 break down. a demolish, destroy All right, men, let's break down that wall b decompose, break up; analyse The carbon dioxide molecules and water are broken down by photosynthesis c collapse, give way, disintegrate, be crushed, be prostrated His health has broken down completely 17 break ground. initiate, begin, commence, found, set up, establish, inaugurate, be innovative, innovate, Colloq break the ice, take the plunge, start the ball rolling Laser printers have broken new ground in the area of computer printout 18 break in. a interrupt, interpose, interject, burst in, intrude, intervene, interfere, disturb If the results of the election become known, we shall break in to keep you informed b train, educate, prepare; accustom, condition, habituate, wear We'll break you in for a week or two on the new machine Wear your new boots for an hour each day to break them in. c rob, burgle, burglarize, break and enter Someone broke in and stole my video recorder last night 19 break off. a discontinue, stop, cease, end Sally broke off in mid sentence After the Fashoda Incident, Britain broke off relations with France. b disengage; sever, detach, break A large branch broke off from the tree and crashed down, narrowly missing me 20 break out. a escape; emerge, appear She broke out of prison in 1985 and hasn't been seen since b erupt, come out in, break out in or into He breaks out in a rash from eating strawberries A war could break out any minute. 21 break the ice. See 17, above. 22 break through. penetrate, force or get through Wit, like beauty, can break through the most unpromising disguise 23 break up. See also 11, 16 (b), above. a disband, disperse; disintegrate Heraclius succeeded in breaking up the Persian power b fracture, fragment, comminute In the spring, the ice on the river breaks up c See 24 (a), below. 24 break with. a break up (with), separate from, leave, depart from The leader broke with the party and established a new organization Sally has broken up with Michael. b renounce, repudiate, disavow They have broken entirely with the traditions we valued so highly

n. 25 fracture, split, separation, rupture, breach, rift, schism There was a break in a gas pipe Disagreement over the fishing grounds has resulted in a break in relations. 26 gap, opening, hole; crack, slit You can escape through a break in the wall near the bridge 27 interruption, discontinuity, discontinuation, hesitation, suspension, hiatus, gap, lacuna, unevenness, irregularity There was a five-minute break in transmission from the ship 28 rest, respite, rest period, coffee-break, tea break, intermission, interlude, lull, pause, playtime, US recess, Colloq breather We take a break at ten o'clock 29 chance, stroke of luck, opportunity, opening All he needs is a break to get started

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