n 1: some abrupt occurrence that interrupts; "the telephone is an
annoying interruption"; "there was a break in the action
when a player was hurt" [syn: interruption
2: an unexpected piece of good luck; "he finally got his big
break" [syn: good luck
, happy chance
3: (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" [syn: fault
4: a personal or social separation (as between opposing
factions); "they hoped to avoid a break in relations"
5: a pause from doing something (as work); "we took a 10-minute
break"; "he took time out to recuperate" [syn: respite
, time out
6: the act of breaking something; "the breakage was
unavoidable" [syn: breakage
7: a time interval during which there is a temporary cessation
of something [syn: pause
8: breaking of hard tissue such as bone; "it was a nasty
fracture"; "the break seems to have been caused by a fall"
9: the occurrence of breaking; "the break in the dam threatened
10: the opening shot that scatters the balls in billiards or
11: (tennis) a score consisting of winning a game when your
opponent was serving; "he was up two breaks in the second
set" [syn: break of serve
12: an act of delaying or interrupting the continuity; "it was
presented without commercial breaks" [syn: interruption
13: a sudden dash; "he made a break for the open door"
14: any frame in which a bowler fails to make a strike or spare;
"the break in the eighth frame cost him the match" [syn:
15: an escape from jail; "the breakout was carefully planned"
v 1: end prematurely; "She interrupted her pregnancy"; "break a
lucky streak" [syn: interrupt
2: become separated into pieces or fragments; "The figurine
broke"; "The freshly baked loaf fell apart" [syn: separate
, fall apart
, come apart
3: destroy the integrity of; usually by force; cause to
separate into pieces or fragments; "He broke the glass
plate"; "She broke the match"
4: render inoperable or ineffective; "You broke the alarm clock
when you took it apart!"
5: ruin completely; "He busted my radio!" [syn: bust
] [ant: repair
6: act in disregard of laws and rules; "offend all laws of
humanity"; "violate the basic laws or human civilization";
"break a law" [syn: transgress
7: move away or escape suddenly; "The horses broke from the
stable"; "Three inmates broke jail" [syn: break out
8: scatter or part; "The clouds broke after the heavy downpour"
9: force out or release suddenly and often violently something
pent up; "break into tears"; "erupt in anger" [syn: burst
10: prevent completion; "stop the project"; "break the silence"
[syn: break off
11: enter someone's property in an unauthorized manner, usually
with the intent to steal or commit a violent act;
"Someone broke in while I was on vacation"; "They broke
into my car and stole my radio!" [syn: break in
12: make submissive, obedient, or useful, as of wild animals or
new items: "The horse was tough to break"; used
metaphorically for people [syn: break in
13: fail to agree with; be in violation of; as of rules or
patterns; "He violated the agreement to stay away from
his ex-wife"; "You are breaking the law!" [syn: violate
] [ant: conform to
14: surpass in excellence; "She bettered her own record"; "break
a record" [syn: better
15: make known to the public information that was previously
known only to a few people or that was meant to be kept a
secret; "The auction house would not disclose the price
at which the van Gogh had sold"; "The actress won't
reveal how old she is"; "bring out the truth"; "he broke
the news to her" [syn: disclose
, let on
, bring out
, let out
16: come into being; "light broke over the horizon"; "Voices
broke in the air"
17: stop operating or functioning; "The engine finally went";
"The car died on the road"; "The bus we travelled in
broke down on the way to town"; "The coffee maker broke";
"The engine failed on the way to town"; "her eyesight
went after the accident" [syn: fail
, go bad
, give out
, conk out
, break down
18: interrupt a continued activity; "She had broken with the
traditional patterns" [syn: break away
19: make a rupture in the ranks of the enemy or one's own by
quitting or fleeing (military usage); "The ranks broke"
20: curl over and fall apart in surf or foam, of waves; "The
21: lessen in force or effect; "soften a shock"; "break a fall"
22: be broken in; "If the new teacher won't break, we'll add
23: come to an end; "The heat wave finally broke yesterday"
24: vary or interrupt a uniformity or continuity; "The flat
plain was broken by sharply mesas"
25: cause to give up a habit; "She finally broke herself of
26: give up: "break cigarette smoking"
27: come forth or begin from a state of latency; "The first
winter storm broke over New York"
28: happen or take place; "Things have been breaking pretty well
for us in the past few months" (informal)
29: cause the failure or ruin of; "His peccadilloes finally
broke his marriage"; "This play will either make or break
the playwright" [ant: make
30: invalidate by judicial action; "The will was broken"
31: stop or interrupt; "He broke the engagement"; "We had to
break our plans for a trip to China"
32: divide into pieces, as by bending or cutting; "break the
loaf of bread"; "break the crackers"
33: discontinue an association or relation; go different ways;
"The business partners broke over a tax question"; "The
couple separated after 25 years of marriage"; "My friend
and I split up" [syn: separate
, split up
34: assign to a lower position; reduce in rank; "She was demoted
because she always speaks up" [syn: demote
] [ant: promote
35: reduce to bankruptcy; "My daughter's fancy wedding is going
to break me!" [syn: bankrupt
36: change directions suddenly
37: emerge from the surface, as of fish in water; "The whales
38: break down, literally or metaphorically; "The wall
collapsed"; "The business collapsed"; "The dam broke";
"The roof collapsed"; "The wall gave in"; "The roof
finally gave under the weight of the ice" [syn: collapse
, cave in
, give way
39: do a break dance; "Kids were break-dancing at the street
corner" [syn: break dance
40: exchange for smaller units of money; "I had to break a $100
bill just to buy the candy"
41: destroy the completeness of a set of related items; "The
book dealer would not break the set" [syn: break up
42: make the opening shot that scatters the balls, in billiards
43: separate from a clinch, in boxing; "The referee broke the
44: go to pieces; "The lawn mower finally broke"; "The gears
wore out"; "The old chair finally fell apart completely"
, wear out
, fall apart
45: break a piece from a whole; "break a branch from a tree"
[syn: break off
, snap off
46: pierce the surface of; "The fish broke the water"
47: become punctured or penetrated: "The skin broke"
48: pierce or penetrate; "The blade broke her skin"
49: be released or become known; of news; "News of her death
broke in the morning" [syn: get out
, get around
50: cease an action temporarily; "We pause for station
identification"; "let's break for lunch" [syn: pause
51: interrupt the flow of current in; "break a circuit"
52: undergo breaking; "The simple vowels broke in many Germanic
53: find a flaw in: "break an alibi"
54: find the solution or key to; "break the code"
55: change suddenly from one tone quality or register to
another; "Her voice broke to a whisper when she started
to talk about her children"
56: stop and wait, as if awaiting further instructions or
developments; "Hold on a moment!"; "We broke at noon"
[syn: hold on
57: happen, as of an event; "Report the news as it develops";
"These political movements recrudesce from time to time"
58: become fractured; break or crack on the surface only; "The
glass cracked when it was heated" [syn: crack
59: of the male voice in puberty; "his voice is breaking--he
should no longer sing in the choir"
60: fall sharply; "stock prices broke"
61: fracture a bone of: "I broke my foot while playing hockey"
62: diminish or discontinue abruptly; "The patient's fever broke
63: weaken or destroy in spirit or body; "For a hero loves the
world till it breaks him"--Yeats