[ US /ˈbɹeɪk/ ]
[ UK /bɹˈe‍ɪk/ ]
  1. enter someone's (virtual or real) property in an unauthorized manner, usually with the intent to steal or commit a violent act
    They broke into my car and stole my radio!
    Someone broke in while I was on vacation
    who broke into my account last night?
  2. cause to give up a habit
    She finally broke herself of smoking cigarettes
  3. break down, literally or metaphorically
    The wall collapsed
    The business collapsed
    The wall gave in
    The roof finally gave under the weight of the ice
    The dam broke
    The roof collapsed
  4. undergo breaking
    The simple vowels broke in many Germanic languages
  5. prevent completion
    break off the negotiations
    stop the project
  6. separate from a clinch, in boxing
    The referee broke the boxers
  7. cause the failure or ruin of
    This play will either make or break the playwright
    His peccadilloes finally broke his marriage
  8. become separated into pieces or fragments
    The figurine broke
    The freshly baked loaf fell apart
  9. be released or become known; of news
    News of her death broke in the morning
  10. be broken in
    If the new teacher won't break, we'll add some stress
  11. scatter or part
    The clouds broke after the heavy downpour
  12. become punctured or penetrated
    The skin broke
  13. move away or escape suddenly
    The horses broke from the stable
    Nobody can break out--this prison is high security
    Three inmates broke jail
  14. crack; of the male voice in puberty
    his voice is breaking--he should no longer sing in the choir
  15. become fractured; break or crack on the surface only
    The glass cracked when it was heated
  16. find a flaw in
    break an alibi
    break down a proof
  17. render inoperable or ineffective
    You broke the alarm clock when you took it apart!
  18. discontinue an association or relation; go different ways
    My friend and I split up
    The couple separated after 25 years of marriage
    The business partners broke over a tax question
  19. emerge from the surface of a body of water
    The whales broke
  20. exchange for smaller units of money
    I had to break a $100 bill just to buy the candy
  21. cease an action temporarily
    let's break for lunch
    We pause for station identification
  22. curl over and fall apart in surf or foam, of waves
    The surf broke
  23. fracture a bone of
    I broke my foot while playing hockey
  24. vary or interrupt a uniformity or continuity
    The flat plain was broken by tall mesas
  25. change suddenly from one tone quality or register to another
    Her voice broke to a whisper when she started to talk about her children
  26. make submissive, obedient, or useful
    I broke in the new intern
    The horse was tough to break
  27. invalidate by judicial action
    The will was broken
  28. assign to a lower position; reduce in rank
    He was broken down to Sergeant
    She was demoted because she always speaks up
  29. fail to agree with; be in violation of; as of rules or patterns
    This sentence violates the rules of syntax
  30. interrupt the flow of current in
    break a circuit
  31. come into being
    Voices broke in the air
    light broke over the horizon
  32. lessen in force or effect
    soften a shock
    break a fall
  33. destroy the completeness of a set of related items
    The book dealer would not break the set
  34. act in disregard of laws, rules, contracts, or promises
    offend all laws of humanity
    break a law
    violate the basic laws or human civilization
    break a promise
  35. destroy the integrity of; usually by force; cause to separate into pieces or fragments
    She broke the match
    He broke the glass plate
  36. change directions suddenly
  37. terminate
    break the cycle of poverty
    She interrupted her pregnancy
    break a lucky streak
  38. give up
    break cigarette smoking
  39. surpass in excellence
    break a record
    She bettered her own record
  40. come to an end
    The heat wave finally broke yesterday
  41. weaken or destroy in spirit or body
    a man broken by the terrible experience of near-death
    His resistance was broken
  42. happen
    Report the news as it develops
    These political movements recrudesce from time to time
  43. make a rupture in the ranks of the enemy or one's own by quitting or fleeing
    The ranks broke
  44. come forth or begin from a state of latency
    The first winter storm broke over New York
  45. pierce or penetrate
    The blade broke her skin
  46. make the opening shot that scatters the balls
  47. force out or release suddenly and often violently something pent up
    erupt in anger
    break into tears
    break into tears
  48. do a break dance
    Kids were break-dancing at the street corner
  49. make known to the public information that was previously known only to a few people or that was meant to be kept a secret
    unwrap the evidence in the murder case
    he broke the news to her
    The newspaper uncovered the President's illegal dealings
    bring out the truth
    The actress won't reveal how old she is
    The auction house would not disclose the price at which the van Gogh had sold
  50. diminish or discontinue abruptly
    The patient's fever broke last night
  51. stop operating or functioning
    The engine finally went
    The coffee maker broke
    The engine failed on the way to town
    The car died on the road
    her eyesight went after the accident
    The bus we travelled in broke down on the way to town
  52. interrupt a continued activity
    She had broken with the traditional patterns
  53. reduce to bankruptcy
    My daughter's fancy wedding is going to break me!
    The slump in the financial markets smashed him
  54. fall sharply
    stock prices broke
  55. happen or take place
    Things have been breaking pretty well for us in the past few months
  56. ruin completely
    He busted my radio!
  57. break a piece from a whole
    break a branch from a tree
  58. find the solution or key to
    break the code
  59. go to pieces
    The gears wore out
    The old chair finally fell apart completely
    The lawn mower finally broke
  1. an unexpected piece of good luck
    he finally got his big break
  2. a personal or social separation (as between opposing factions)
    they hoped to avoid a break in relations
  3. 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
  4. an act of delaying or interrupting the continuity
    there was a gap in his account
    it was presented without commercial breaks
  5. (tennis) a score consisting of winning a game when your opponent was serving
    he was up two breaks in the second set
  6. any frame in which a bowler fails to make a strike or spare
    the break in the eighth frame cost him the match
  7. some abrupt occurrence that interrupts an ongoing activity
    there was a break in the action when a player was hurt
    the telephone is an annoying interruption
  8. a time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of something
  9. an escape from jail
    the breakout was carefully planned
  10. a sudden dash
    he made a break for the open door
  11. the occurrence of breaking
    the break in the dam threatened the valley
  12. the act of breaking something
    the breakage was unavoidable
  13. the opening shot that scatters the balls in billiards or pool
  14. breaking of hard tissue such as bone
    it was a nasty fracture
    the break seems to have been caused by a fall
  15. (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
  16. a pause from doing something (as work)
    we took a 10-minute break
    he took time out to recuperate
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How To Use break In A Sentence

  • Assuming that 15 pound breaking strain line is used, an angler using monofilament might have to use a six or eight ounce sinker and use a 20 lb class rod to carry that sinker weight.
  • It didn't break, but George was bleeding and had copped a bit of a shiner.
  • Break, break, break,’ for instance, is a bitter poem on unrecompensed, pointless loss, but it achieves its power and makes its point very indirectly, largely through structural implications.
  • “And now, Sir John de Walton,” he said, “methinks you are a little churlish in not ordering me some breakfast, after I have been all night engaged in your affairs; and a cup of muscadel would, I think, be no bad induction to a full consideration of this perplexed matter.” Castle Dangerous
  • They establish a colony on Ragol but this perfect planet soon unleashes a few surprises and all hell breaks loose.
  • When things break, it's not the actual breaking that prevents them from getting back together again. It's because a little piece gets lost - the two remaining ends couldn't fit together even if they wanted to. The whole shape has changed. John Green 
  • I used to break-dance really badly. Times, Sunday Times
  • A leisurely breakfast - even the motel manager was moaning about the way the Italians "hogged" the muffins this morning and drank cups of milk instead of putting it on their bran flakes! TravelPod.com TravelStream™ — Recent Entries at TravelPod.com
  • Don't break in when he is telling the story.
  • Martin did well to recover from the onslaught to go a break up in the third set.
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