- From the verb break: (⇒ conjugate)
- breaking is: ⓘClick the infinitive to see all available inflections
- v pres pverb, present participle: -ing verb used descriptively or to form progressive verb--for example, "a singing bird," "It is singing."
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
(brā′king),USA pronunciation n. WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2020
- Phonol. the change of a pure vowel to a diphthong, esp. in certain environments, as, in Old English, the change of a vowel to a diphthong under the influence of a following consonant or combination of consonants, as the change of -a- to -ea- and of -e- to -eo- before preconsonantal r or l and before h, as in earm "arm'' developed from arm, and eorthe "earth'' from erthe. Also called vowel fracture.
(brā′king),USA pronunciation n.
- 1870–75; translation of German Brechung; see break, -ing1
- Music and DanceSee break dancing.
break /breɪk/USA pronunciation
v., broke/broʊk/USA pronunciation bro•ken/ˈbroʊkən/USA pronunciation break•ing, n. v.
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
- to smash, split, or divide into parts violently: [~ + object]He took the vase and broke it open.[no object]The vase broke.
- to (cause to) stop working, as through wear or damage: [~ + object]I broke my watch.[no object]My watch broke.
- to disobey or disregard (a law, promise, etc.):[~ + object]She broke her promise not to drink.
- to fracture a bone of: [~ + object]He broke his arm.[no object]His arm broke when he fell on it.
- to burst through (the surface of);
rupture: [~ + object]When you fell you just broke the skin, so there's only a little blood.[no object]The blood vessel broke and blood poured out.
- to interrupt (quiet, peace, or some continuing process or activity): [~ + object]A scream broke the silence.[no object]Let's break for lunch and come back later.
- to (cause to) come to an end;
stop: [~ + object]He broke radio contact when he realized he was being intercepted.[no object]Radio contact broke after just a few moments.
- Cryptography to discover the system, etc., for figuring out (a code):[~ + object]During World War II theUnited States had broken the Japanese war codes.
- [~ + object] to exchange for, or divide into, smaller units: Can you break a ten-dollar bill?
- [~ + object] to make a way through;
penetrate: The stone broke the surface of the water.
- [~ + object] to escape from, esp. by force: to break jail.
- to better (a record):[~ + object]When he jumped over eight feet he broke the old record of 7 feet 10 inches.
- [~ + object] to tell or reveal: They broke the news to us gently.
- [~ + object] to solve: to break a murder case.
- to ruin financially;
bankrupt:[~ + object]had made many enemies who worked together to break him.
- to (cause to) be overcome or worn down;
(cause to) give in to pressure: [~ + object]The police broke the spy in just a few hours.[no object]The captured spy broke quickly.
- to lessen the power or intensity of:[~ + object]In order to break your fall, slap your arm against the floor as you go down.
- [~ + object] to train to obedience;
tame: to break a horse.
- to train away from a habit or practice:[~ + object + of + object]tried to break him of his habit of biting his fingernails.
- Electricity to stop the flow of (a current):[~ + object]He broke the circuit by disconnecting the wires.
- to become detached or disassociated: [~ + from/with + object]decided to break from the past and leave her small town for good.
- Journalismto (cause a news item to) be released, published, or aired: [no object]The story broke the next day inmost newspapers.[~ + object]The reporter promised not to break the story.
- to free oneself or escape suddenly, as from restraint:[no object]She broke free and dashed away.
- to run or dash toward something suddenly;
force one's way: [~ + for]He broke for the goal line.[no object]The hunters broke through the underbrush.
- [no object] (of the day or dawn) to grow light: Day was breaking.
- to appear or begin violently and suddenly:[no object]After some rumbling in the distance,the storm suddenly broke.
- to give way or fail, as health or spirit:[no object]Her spirit broke when her two daughters died so young.
- (to cause the heart) to be overwhelmed with sorrow: [no object]His heart broke when she married another.[~ + object]He broke her heart when he married another.
- (of the voice) to waver or change tone abruptly, as from emotion or the beginning of maturity:[no object]When she started to talk about the attack, her voice broke. When he turned fourteen his voice began to break.
- to drop, turn, or change direction down sharply and considerably: [no object]Stock prices broke quickly at the New York exchange.[~ + object]The pitcher broke his curveball over the plate and the batter swung at it.
- [no object] to fall or collapse by colliding with something: The waves broke on the shore.
- Games to make the opening play in pool by scattering the racked balls with the cue ball:[no object]She won the toss to break and the game began.
- Sport[no object] to leave the starting point in a race: The horses broke from the gate.
- break away, [no object; ~ + away (+ from + object)]
- to leave, esp. suddenly:One of the suspects broke away and dashed into the subway station.
- to cut off connections with (a group or tradition):decided to break away from the Democratic party and form his own.
- break down,
- [no object] to stop working;
fail:The car broke down on the highway.
- to cause to collapse or stop working: [~ + down + object]to break down resistance.[~ + object + down]to break it down.
- to separate into component parts: [no object]These proteins will break down in your stomach.[~ + down + object]Enzymes in your stomach break down proteins.[~ + object + down]Let me break it down (= analyze the situation) for you.
- [no object] to lose control over one's emotions, esp. to cry:just broke down and began sobbing.
- [no object] to have a complete physical or mental collapse.
- break even, [no object] to finish something with no loss and no gain:lucky just to break even this year.
- break in,
- [no object] to enter a house or property by force or unlawfully:The thief broke in yesterday.
- to train to a new situation: [~ + in + object]He managed to break in a new assistant.[~ + object + in]He managed to break her in in just a few days.
- to wear or use (something new) and thereby ease stiffness, tightness, etc.: [~ + in + object]to break in his new shoes.[~ + object + in]to break them in.
- [no object] to interrupt: He broke in with an objection.
- break in on or upon, [~ + in + on + object] to intrude upon:I'm sorry to break in on you like this.
- break into, [~ + into + object]
- to interrupt:broke into the conversation and began shouting.
- to express (an emotion, etc.) suddenly:broke into a huge smile when she saw me.
- to begin making a sound:broke into a song.
- to enter (a profession):She broke into journalism when she was eighteen.
- to enter (property) by force:broke into the storage room and grabbed the safe.
- break off,
- to cut off or remove (a part of) by breaking: [~ + off + object]I broke off a piece of meat.[~ + object + off]to break a piece off.
- to stop suddenly;
discontinue: [~ + off + object]The two nations decided to break off relations.[~ + object + off]to break them off.
- break out,
- [no object] to begin suddenly;
arise:An epidemic broke out.
- [no object; (~ + out + in)] (of a person's appearance) to have a mark or spots on the skin appear suddenly:Her face broke out in red blotches.
- [~ + out + object] to take out or prepare for use:to break out the parachutes.
- [no object] to escape;
flee:The prisoner broke out at about noon.
- break up,
- [no object] to separate;
scatter:The crowd broke up and people went on their way.
- to (cause to) come to an end;
discontinue: [~ + up + object]The cops broke up the fight.[~ + object + up]All right, break it up![no object]The meeting broke up.
- to (cause a personal relationship to) end: [no object]decided to break up after five years.[~ + up + object]Their children didn't break up their marriage.[~ + object + up]to break it up.
- to (cause someone to) laugh a great deal: [no object]When she heard that joke she just broke up.[~ + object + up]That joke just broke her up.
- break with, [~ + with + object] to separate from:to break with one's family.
- an opening made by or as if by breaking:a break in the window.
- an act or instance of breaking;
rupture:heard a sharp crack and knew that she had suffered a clean break of her leg.
- an interruption or stopping of something:[usually singular]a break with tradition.
- a brief rest, as from work:Let's take a break; I'm tired of all this homework.
- a sudden and obvious change:waited for a break in the weather.
- an attempt to escape:Let's make a break for it!
- Informal Termsa case or piece of luck, esp. good luck:What a lucky break!
- Informal Terms the breaks, [plural] Informal. the way things happen;
fate: Those are the breaks.
- Gamesthe opening play in a game of pool, in which the white ball is shot to scatter the balls.
- Idiomsbreak camp, to pack up tents and equipment and start again on a journey or march.
- Idioms break (new) ground,
- to begin construction, esp. of a building:to break ground for a new housing development.
- to start something new or from the beginning:Thelatest study linking heart attacks with smoking cigarettes doesn't really break any new ground.
(brāk),USA pronunciation v., broke or (Archaic) brake;
bro•ken or (Archaic) broke;
- to smash, split, or divide into parts violently;
reduce to pieces or fragments:He broke a vase.
- to infringe, ignore, or act contrary to (a law, rule, promise, etc.):She broke her promise.
- to dissolve or annul (often fol. by off):to break off friendly relations with another country.
- to fracture a bone of (some part of the body):He broke his leg.
- to lacerate;
wound:to break the skin.
- to destroy or interrupt the regularity, uniformity, continuity, or arrangement of;
interrupt:The bleating of a foghorn broke the silence. The troops broke formation.
- to put an end to;
stop:His touchdown run broke the tie. She found it hard to break the cigarette habit.
- Cryptographyto discover the system, key, method, etc., for decoding or deciphering (a cryptogram), esp. by the methods of cryptanalysis.
- to remove a part from (a set or collection):She had to break the set to sell me the two red ones I wanted.
- to exchange for or divide into smaller units or components:She broke a dollar bill into change. The prism broke the light into all the colors of the rainbow.
- to make a way through;
penetrate:The stone broke the surface of the water.
- Lawto open or force one's way into (a dwelling, store, etc.).
- Lawto contest (a will) successfully by judicial action.
- to make one's way out of, esp. by force:to break jail.
- to better (a given score or record):He never broke 200 in bowling or 80 in golf.
- to disclose or divulge personally in speech or writing:He broke the good news to her at dinner.
- to solve:The police needed only a week to break that case.
- to rupture (a blood vessel):She almost broke a blood vessel from laughing so hard.
- to disable or destroy by or as if by shattering or crushing:to break a watch.
- to cause (a blister, boil, or the like) to burst, as by puncturing:She broke the blister with a needle.
- to ruin financially;
make bankrupt:They threatened to break him if he didn't stop discounting their products.
- to overcome or wear down the spirit, strength, or resistance of;
to cause to yield, esp. under pressure, torture, or the like:They broke him by the threat of blackmail.
- to dismiss or reduce in rank.
- to impair or weaken the power, effect, or intensity of:His arm broke the blow.
- to train to obedience;
tame:to break a horse.
- to train away from a habit or practice (usually fol. by of ).
- Electricityto render (a circuit) incomplete;
stop the flow of (a current).
- to release (a story) for publication or airing on radio or television:They will break the story tomorrow.
- to continue (a story or article) on another page, esp. when the page is not the following one.
- Games[Pool.]to cause (racked billiard balls) to scatter by striking with the cue ball.
- Sport(of a pitcher, bowler, etc.) to hurl (a ball) in such a way as to cause it to change direction after leaving the hand:He broke a curve over the plate for a strike.
- Sport(in tennis and other racket games) to score frequently or win against (an opponent's serve).
- Nautical, Naval Termsto unfurl (a flag) suddenly by an easily released knot.
- to prove the falsity or show the lack of logic of:The FBI broke his alibi by proving he knew how to shoot a pistol.
- to begin or initiate (a plan or campaign), esp. with much publicity:They were going to break the sales campaign with a parade in April.
- to open the breech or action of (a shotgun, rifle, or revolver), as by snapping open the hinge between the barrel and the butt.
- to shatter, burst, or become broken;
separate into parts or fragments, esp. suddenly and violently:The glass broke on the floor.
- to become suddenly discontinuous or interrupted;
stop abruptly:She pulled too hard and the string broke.
- to become detached, separated, or disassociated (usually fol. by away, off, or from):The knob broke off in his hand.
- to become inoperative or to malfunction, as through wear or damage:The television set broke this afternoon.
- to begin suddenly or violently or change abruptly into something else:War broke over Europe.
- to begin uttering a sound or series of sounds or to be uttered suddenly:She broke into song. When they entered, a cheer broke from the audience.
- to express or start to express an emotion or mood:His face broke into a smile.
- to free oneself or escape suddenly, as from restraint or dependency (often fol. by away):He broke away from the arresting officer. She finally broke away from her parents and got an apartment of her own.
- to run or dash toward something suddenly (usually fol. by for):The pass receiver broke for the goal line.
- to force a way (usually fol. by in, into, or through):The hunters broke through the underbrush.
- to burst or rupture:A blood vessel broke in his nose. The blister broke when he pricked it.
- to interrupt or halt an activity (usually fol. by in, into, forth, or from):Don't break in on the conversation. Let's break for lunch.
- to appear or arrive suddenly (usually fol. by in, into, or out):A deer broke into the clearing. A rash broke out on her arm.
- to dawn:The day broke hot and sultry.
- to begin violently and suddenly:The storm broke.
- (of a storm, foul weather, etc.) to cease:The weather broke after a week, and we were able to sail for home.
- to part the surface of water, as a jumping fish or surfacing submarine.
- to give way or fail, as health, strength, or spirit;
collapse:After years of hardship and worry, his health broke.
- to yield or submit to pressure, torture, or the like:He broke under questioning.
- (of the heart) to be overwhelmed with sorrow:Her heart broke when he told her that he no longer loved her.
- (of the voice or a musical instrument) to change harshly from one register or pitch to another:After his voice broke, he could no longer sing soprano parts.
- (of the voice) to cease, waver, or change tone abruptly, esp. from emotional strain:His voice broke when he mentioned her name.
- (of value or prices) to drop sharply and considerably.
- to disperse or collapse by colliding with something:The waves broke on the shore.
- Music and Danceto break dance.
- Sport(of a horse in a harness race) to fail to keep to a trot or pace, as by starting to gallop.
- [Bot.]to mutate;
- Linguisticsto undergo breaking.
- Games[Billiards, Pool.]to make a break;
take the first turn in a game.
- Sport(of a pitched or bowled ball) to change direction:The ball broke over the plate.
- Sport[Horse Racing, Track.]to leave the starting point:The horses broke fast from the gate.
- Sport[Boxing.]to step back or separate from a clinch:The fighters fell into a clinch and broke on the referee's order.
- to take place;
- Journalismto become known, published, or aired:The story broke in the morning papers.
- [Hort.]to produce flowers or leaves.
- break away:
- to leave or escape, esp. suddenly or hurriedly.
- to sever connections or allegiance, as to tradition or a political group.
- to start prematurely:The horse broke away from the starting gate.
- break back, [Tennis.]to win a game served by an opponent immediately after the opponent has done so against one's own serve.
- Nautical, Naval Termsbreak bulk, to remove a cargo wholly or in part.
- Idiomsbreak camp, to pack up tents and equipment and resume a journey or march:They broke camp at dawn and proceeded toward the mountains.
- Electricity, Chemistrybreak down:
- to become ineffective.
- to lose control;
weaken:He broke down and wept at the sad news.
- to have a physical or mental collapse.
- to cease to function:The car broke down.
- to itemize:to break down a hotel bill into daily charges.
- Chemistryto separate (a compound) into its constituent molecules.
- [Elect.](of an insulator) to fail, as when subjected to excessively high voltage, permitting a current to pass.
- to decompose.
- to analyze.
- to classify.
- to separate into constituent parts:to break down a beef carcass into basic cuts.
- break even, to finish a business transaction, period of gambling, series of games, etc., with no loss or gain:He played poker all night and broke even.
- Idiomsbreak ground:
- to begin construction, esp. of a building or group of buildings:to break ground for a new housing development.
- , Nautical[Naut.]to free an anchor from the bottom;
- break in:
- to enter by force or craft:Someone broke in and made off with all the furniture.
- to train or instruct;
initiate:The boss is breaking in a new assistant.
- to begin to wear or use in order to make comfortable:These shoes haven't been broken in.
- to interrupt:He broke in with a ridiculous objection.
- Mechanical Engineeringto run (new machinery) initially under reduced load and speed, until any stiffness of motion has departed and all parts are ready to operate under normal service conditions;
- break in on or upon, to enter with force upon or accidentally interrupt;
intrude upon:The visitor opened the wrong door and broke in on a private conference.
- break into:
- to interpose;
interrupt:He broke into the conversation at a crucial moment.
- to begin some activity.
- to be admitted into;
enter, as a business or profession:It is difficult to break into the theater.
- to enter by force:They broke into the store and stole the safe.
- British Terms, Idiomsbreak it down, [Australian Slang.]
- stop it;
- (used as an exclamation of disbelief ) that can't be true!
- break off:
- to sever by breaking.
- to stop suddenly;
discontinue:to break off a conversation; to break off relations with one's neighbors.
- Dialect Terms, Idiomsbreak one's heart. See heart (def. 19).
- break out:
- to begin abruptly;
arise:An epidemic broke out.
- Pathology(of certain diseases) to appear in eruptions.
- (of a person) to manifest a skin eruption.
- to prepare for use:to break out the parachutes.
- to take out of (storage, concealment, etc.) for consumption:to break out one's best wine.
- Naval Terms[Naut.]to dislodge (the anchor) from the bottom.
- to escape;
flee:He spent three years in prison before he broke out.
- to separate into categories or list specific items:to break out gift ideas according to price range; The report breaks out quarterly profits and losses.
- Sportbreak service, [Tennis.]to win a game served by one's opponent.
- Nautical, Naval Termsbreak sheer, (of an anchored vessel) to drift into such a position as to risk fouling the anchor or anchor cable. Cf. sheer2 (def. 6).
- Idiomsbreak step. See step (def. 20).
- break up:
- to separate;
- to put an end to;
- to divide or become divided into pieces.
- to dissolve.
- to disrupt;
upset:Television commercials during a dramatic presentation break up the continuity of effect.
- (of a personal relationship) to end:to break up a friendship; Their marriage broke up last year.
- to end a personal relationship:Bob and Mary broke up last month.
- to be or cause to be overcome with laughter:The comedian told several jokes that broke up the audience.
- break wind. See wind1 (def. 21).
- break with:
- to sever relations with;
separate from:to break with one's family.
- to depart from;
repudiate:to break with tradition.
- an act or instance of breaking;
disruption or separation of parts;
rupture:There was a break in the window.
- an opening made by breaking;
gap:The break in the wall had not been repaired.
- a rush away from a place;
an attempt to escape:a break for freedom.
- a sudden dash or rush, as toward something:When the rain lessened, I made a break for home.
- a suspension of or sudden rupture in friendly relations.
- an interruption of continuity;
departure from or rupture with:Abstract painters made a break with the traditions of the past.
- an abrupt or marked change, as in sound or direction, or a brief pause:They noticed a curious break in his voice.
- Informal Terms
- an opportunity or stroke of fortune, esp. a lucky one.
- a chance to improve one's lot, esp. one unlooked for or undeserved.
- Informal Termsthe breaks, the way things happen;
fate:Sorry to hear about your bad luck, but I guess those are the breaks.
- a brief rest, as from work:The actors took a ten-minute break from rehearsal.
- Show Business[Radio, Television.]a brief, scheduled interruption of a program or broadcasting period for the announcement of advertising or station identification.
- Poetry[Pros.]a pause or caesura.
- Music and Dance[Jazz.]a solo passage, usually of from 2 to 12 bars, during which the rest of the instruments are silent.
- Music and Dancethe point in the scale where the quality of voice of one register changes to that of another, as from chest to head.
- Music and DanceSee break dancing.
- Businessa sharp and considerable drop in the prices of stock issues.
- Electricityan opening or discontinuity in a circuit.
- Printingone or more blank lines between two paragraphs.
- Printingbreaks. See suspension points.
- Printingthe place, after a letter, where a word is or may be divided at the end of a line.
- a collapse of health, strength, or spirit;
- Informal Termsan indiscreet or awkward remark or action;
- Games[Billiards, Pool.]a series of successful strokes;
- Games[Pool.]the opening play, in which the cue ball is shot to scatter the balls.
- Sporta change in direction of a pitched or bowled ball.
- Sport[Horse Racing, Track.]the start of a race.
- Sport(in harness racing) an act or instance of a horse's changing from a trot or pace into a gallop or other step.
- Sport[Bowling.]a failure to knock down all ten pins in a single frame.
- Sport[Boxing.]an act or instance of stepping back or separating from a clinch:a clean break.
- any of several stages in the grinding of grain in which the bran is separated from the kernel.
- Botanya sport.
- Journalismthe point at the bottom of a column where a printed story is carried over to another column or page.
- Nautical, Naval Termsthe place at which a superstructure, deckhouse, or the like, rises from the main deck of a vessel.
- Geographybreaks, [Phys. Geog.]an area dissected by small ravines and gullies.
- Mininga fault or offset, as in a vein or bed of ore.
- bef. 900; Middle English breken, Old English brecan; cognate with Dutch breken, German brechen, Gothic brikan; akin to Latin frangere; see fragile
- 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged fracture, splinter, shiver. Break, crush, shatter, smash mean to reduce to parts, violently or by force. Break means to divide by means of a blow, a collision, a pull, or the like:to break a chair, a leg, a strap.To crush is to subject to (usually heavy or violent) pressure so as to press out of shape or reduce to shapelessness or to small particles:to crush a beetle.To shatter is to break in such a way as to cause the pieces to fly in many directions:to shatter a light globe.To smash is to break noisily and suddenly into many pieces:to smash a glass.
- 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged disobey, contravene.
- 6.See corresponding entry in Unabridged disrupt.
- 14.See corresponding entry in Unabridged surpass, beat.
- 22.See corresponding entry in Unabridged demote.
- 34.See corresponding entry in Unabridged fragment, smash.
- 89.See corresponding entry in Unabridged rent, tear, rip, rift, split;
breach, fissure, crack.
- 94.See corresponding entry in Unabridged stop, hiatus, lacuna, pause, caesura.
- 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged repair.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
break /breɪk/ vb (breaks, breaking, broke, broken)
- to separate or become separated into two or more pieces
- to damage or become damaged so as to be inoperative: my radio is broken
- to crack or become cracked without separating
- to burst or cut the surface of (skin, etc)
- to discontinue or become discontinued: they broke for lunch, to break a journey
- to disperse or become dispersed: the clouds broke
- (transitive) to fail to observe (an agreement, promise, law, etc): to break one's word
- (followed by with) to discontinue an association (with)
- to disclose or be disclosed: he broke the news gently
- (transitive) to fracture (a bone) in (a limb, etc)
- (transitive) to divide (something complete or perfect): to break a set of books
- to bring or come to an end: the summer weather broke at last
- (transitive) to bring to an end by or as if by force: to break a strike
- when intr, often followed by out: to escape (from): he broke jail, he broke out of jail
- to weaken or overwhelm or be weakened or overwhelmed, as in spirit
- (transitive) to cut through or penetrate: a cry broke the silence
- (transitive) to improve on or surpass: to break a record
- (transitive) often followed by in: to accustom (a horse) to the bridle and saddle, to being ridden, etc
- (transitive) often followed by of: to cause (a person) to give up (a habit): this cure will break you of smoking
- (transitive) to weaken the impact or force of: this net will break his fall
- (transitive) to decipher: to break a code
- (transitive) to lose the order of: to break ranks
- (transitive) to reduce to poverty or the state of bankruptcy
- when intr, followed by into: to obtain, give, or receive smaller units in exchange for; change: to break a pound note
- (transitive) chiefly to demote to a lower rank
- (intr; often followed by from or out of) to proceed suddenly
- (intransitive) to come into being: light broke over the mountains
- (intr; followed by into or out into) to burst into song, laughter, etc
- to change to a faster pace
- (transitive) to open with explosives: to break a safe
- (intransitive)(of waves) (often followed by against) to strike violently
- to collapse into foam or surf
- (intransitive) (of prices, esp stock exchange quotations) to fall sharply
- (intransitive) to make a sudden effort, as in running, horse racing, etc
- (intransitive) (of a ball) to change direction on bouncing
- (intransitive) to scatter the balls at the start of a game
- (intransitive) (of two fighters) to separate from a clinch
- (intransitive) (of the male voice) to undergo a change in register, quality, and range at puberty
- (transitive) to open the breech of (certain firearms) by snapping the barrel away from the butt on its hinge
- (transitive) to interrupt the flow of current in (an electrical circuit)
- (intransitive) informal chiefly US to become successful; make a breakthrough
- break camp ⇒ to pack up equipment and leave a camp
- break the bank ⇒ to ruin financially or deplete the resources of a bank (as in gambling)
- break the mould ⇒ to make a change that breaks an established habit, pattern, etc
- break service ⇒ to win a game in which an opponent is serving
- the act or result of breaking; fracture
- a crack formed as the result of breaking
- a brief respite or interval between two actions
- a sudden rush, esp to escape: to make a break for freedom
- a breach in a relationship
- any sudden interruption in a continuous action
- Brit a short period between classes at school
- informal a fortunate opportunity, esp to prove oneself
- informal a piece of (good or bad) luck
- (esp in a stock exchange) a sudden and substantial decline in prices
- a series of successful shots during one turn
- the opening shot with the cue ball that scatters the placed balls
- Also called: service break, break of serve the act or instance of breaking an opponent's service
- a short usually improvised solo passage
- an instrumental passage in a pop song
- a discontinuity in an electrical circuit
- access to a radio channel by a citizens' band operator
See also breakaway
- a command by a referee for two opponents to separate
, break downEtymology: Old English brecan; related to Old Frisian breka, Gothic brikan, Old High German brehhan, Latin frangere Sanskrit bhráj bursting forth
'breaking' also found in these entries (note: many are not synonyms or translations):