[breɪk] (past tense broke [brəʊk] ; past participle broken [ˈbrəʊkən] ) verb I
1) [I/T] if something breaks, or if you break it, it separates into two or more pieces when it is hit, dropped etc
I broke two dishes this morning.[/ex]
Joey broke three bones in his foot.[/ex]
Break the spaghetti in half (= in the middle).[/ex]
The glass broke into tiny pieces.[/ex]
2) [I/T] if a piece of equipment breaks, or if you break it, it stops working correctly
Don't play with the camera – you'll break it.[/ex]
3) [T] to fail to obey a rule or law
Students who break these rules will be punished.[/ex]
4) [T] to not do something that you promised or agreed to do
Elliot claims that his business partner broke her contract.[/ex]
5) [T] to make a hole or cut in the surface of something
The dog bit his leg, but didn't break the skin.[/ex]
6) [T] to make something end
A bird's call broke the silence.[/ex]
I found it hard to break the habit of eating in the afternoons.[/ex]
7) [I/T] if important news breaks, or if a newspaper or television station breaks it, it becomes publicly known
He was back in France when the news broke.[/ex]
8) [T] to tell someone bad news in a kind way
I didn't know how to break it to her.[/ex]
9) [T] to destroy someone's confidence, determination, or happiness
Twenty years in prison had not broken his spirit.[/ex]
10) if waves break, they reach their highest point and start to fall
11) [I] when day breaks, it starts to get light in the morning
12) [I] if a storm breaks, it starts
13) [I] if the weather breaks, it changes unexpectedly
14) [I] if someone's voice breaks, they cannot speak clearly, usually because they are upset
15) [I] when a boy's voice breaks, it starts to become deeper and sound like a man's
break even — if a person or business breaks even, they neither make a profit nor lose money[/ex]
break sb's fall — to stop someone who is falling from hitting the ground directly[/ex]
break free — 1) to escape from someone who is trying to hold you; 2) to escape from an unpleasant situation that controls your life[/ex]
break sb's heart — to upset someone very much, especially by showing them that you do not love them[/ex]
break sb's heart — to make someone feel extremely sad[/ex]
break the ice — to make people feel more relaxed and ready to talk, for example at the beginning of a party[/ex]
[i]Joe told a few jokes, which helped to break the ice.[/ex]
break the ice — to do or say something that makes people feel less shy or nervous when they first meet[/ex]
break a record — to do something better than anyone else has done before in a particular activity, especially a sport[/ex]
If she continues running at this pace, she'll break the world record.[/ex]
- break away
- break down
- break (sth) down
- break sth down
- break in
- break into sth
- break off
- break (sth) off
- break sth off
- break out
- break through (sth)
- break up
- break (sth) up
- break sth up
- break with sth
noun [C]
break */*/[breɪk]
1) a period of time when you are not working and can rest or enjoy yourself
OK, let's take a fifteen-minute break.[/ex]
The art class is the only time I get a break from the kids.[/ex]
2) a short holiday
a weekend break for two in Florence[/ex]
3) a time at which one thing ends completely
a break in relations with Uganda[/ex]
Lynn's decision helped her make the break with her past.[/ex]
4) an opportunity that helps you to be successful
a lucky break[/ex]
Kiefer's big break came with the film Stand By Me.[/ex]
5) a place where something is broken
a break in the gas pipeline[/ex]
6) a pause between television or radio programmes, especially when advertisements are broadcast
We'll be back after the break.[/ex]
7) a space in something
a break in the traffic/clouds[/ex]
give sb a break — to stop being unkind or making things difficult for someone[/ex]
Give the boy a break - he's just learning.[/ex]
Oh, give me a break (=stop annoying me) . I was just joking.[/ex]

Dictionary for writing and speaking English. 2014.

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  • Break — (br[=a]k), v. t. [imp. {broke} (br[=o]k), (Obs. {Brake}); p. p. {Broken} (br[=o] k n), (Obs. {Broke}); p. pr. & vb. n. {Breaking}.] [OE. breken, AS. brecan; akin to OS. brekan, D. breken, OHG. brehhan, G. brechen, Icel. braka to creak, Sw. braka …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Break — (br[=a]k), v. i. 1. To come apart or divide into two or more pieces, usually with suddenness and violence; to part; to burst asunder. [1913 Webster] 2. To open spontaneously, or by pressure from within, as a bubble, a tumor, a seed vessel, a bag …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • break — ► VERB (past broke; past part. broken) 1) separate into pieces as a result of a blow, shock, or strain. 2) make or become inoperative; stop working. 3) interrupt (a continuity, sequence, or course). 4) fail to observe (a law, regulation, or… …   English terms dictionary

  • break — vb Break, crack, burst, bust, snap, shatter, shiver are comparable as general terms meaning fundamentally to come apart or cause to come apart. Break basically implies the operation of a stress or strain that will cause a rupture, a fracture, a… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • break — [brāk] vt. broke, broken, breaking [ME breken < OE brecan < IE base * bhreg > BREACH, BREECH, Ger brechen, L frangere] 1. to cause to come apart by force; split or crack sharply into pieces; smash; burst 2. a) …   English World dictionary

  • break — / brāk/ vb broke / brōk/, bro·ken, / brō kən/, break·ing, / brā kiŋ/ vt 1 a: violate transgress break the law …   Law dictionary

  • break — [n1] fissure, opening breach, cleft, crack, discontinuity, disjunction, division, fracture, gap, gash, hole, rent, rift, rupture, schism, split, tear; concepts 230,757 Ant. association, attachment, binding, combination, fastening, juncture break… …   New thesaurus

  • Break — (br[=a]k), n. [See {Break}, v. t., and cf. {Brake} (the instrument), {Breach}, {Brack} a crack.] 1. An opening made by fracture or disruption. [1913 Webster] 2. An interruption of continuity; change of direction; as, a break in a wall; a break in …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • break-up — break ups also breakup 1) N COUNT: usu N of n, n N The break up of a marriage, relationship, or association is the act of it finishing or coming to an end because the people involved decide that it is not working successfully. Since the break up… …   English dictionary

  • break up — {v.} 1. To break into pieces. * /The workmen broke up the pavement to dig up the pipes under it./ * /River ice breaks up in the spring./ 2. {informal} To lose or destroy spirit or self control. Usually used in the passive. * /Mrs. Lawrence was… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • break up — {v.} 1. To break into pieces. * /The workmen broke up the pavement to dig up the pipes under it./ * /River ice breaks up in the spring./ 2. {informal} To lose or destroy spirit or self control. Usually used in the passive. * /Mrs. Lawrence was… …   Dictionary of American idioms

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