(noun, verb)


1. some abrupt occurrence that interrupts an ongoing activity

- there was a break in the action when a player was hurt

Similar word(s): interruption

Definition categories: event, happening, occurrence, occurrent

2. an unexpected piece of good luck

- he finally got his big break

Definition categories: event, accident, fortuity, stroke

3. (geology) a crack in the earth's crust resulting from the displacement of one side with respect to the other

Similar word(s): fault, faulting, fracture, shift

Definition categories: object, cleft, crack, crevice, fissure, scissure

4. a personal or social separation (as between opposing factions)

- they hoped to avoid a break in relations

Similar word(s): breach, rift, rupture, severance

Definition categories: event, breakup, detachment, separation

5. a pause from doing something (as work)

- we took a 10-minute break

Similar word(s): recess, respite

Definition categories: act, pause

6. the act of breaking something

- the breakage was unavoidable

Similar word(s): breakage, breaking

Definition categories: act

7. a time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of something

Similar word(s): intermission, interruption, pause, suspension

Definition categories: time, interval

8. breaking of hard tissue such as bone

- the break seems to have been caused by a fall

Similar word(s): fracture

Definition categories: state, harm, hurt, injury, trauma

9. the occurrence of breaking

- the break in the dam threatened the valley

Definition categories: event, breakup, detachment, separation

10. 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

Definition categories: event, alteration, change, modification

11. the opening shot that scatters the balls in billiards or pool

Definition categories: act, shot, stroke

12. (tennis) a score consisting of winning a game when your opponent was serving

- he was up two breaks in the second set

Definition categories: act, score

13. an act of delaying or interrupting the continuity

- it was presented without commercial breaks

Similar word(s): disruption, gap, interruption

Definition categories: act, delay, holdup

14. a sudden dash

- he made a break for the open door

Definition categories: act, dash, sprint

15. any frame in which a bowler fails to make a strike or spare

- the break in the eighth frame cost him the match

Definition categories: act, score

16. an escape from jail

- the breakout was carefully planned

Similar word(s): breakout, jailbreak

Definition categories: act, escape, flight

Sentences with break as a noun:

- The femur has a clean break and so should heal easily.

- The sun came out in a break in the clouds.

- He waited minutes for a break in the traffic to cross the highway.

- The fiddle break was amazing; it was a pity the singer came back in on the wrong note.

- Let’s take a five-minute break.

- I think we need a break.

- daybreak

- at the break of day

- make a break for it

- make a break for the door

- It was a clean break.

- prison break

- The final break in the Greenmount area is Kirra Point.

- a weekend break on the Isle of Wight


1. terminate

- break a lucky streak

- break the cycle of poverty

Similar word(s): interrupt

Definition categories: change, end, terminate

2. become separated into pieces or fragments

Similar word(s): separate

Definition categories: change

3. render inoperable or ineffective

Definition categories: change, damage

4. ruin completely

Similar word(s): bust

Definition categories: contact, destroy, ruin

5. destroy the integrity of; usually by force; cause to separate into pieces or fragments

Definition categories: change, divide, separate

6. act in disregard of laws, rules, contracts, or promises

- break a law

- break a promise

Similar word(s): breach, infract, offend, transgress, violate

Definition categories: social, disrespect

7. move away or escape suddenly

- Nobody can break out--this prison is high security

Definition categories: motion, escape

8. scatter or part

Definition categories: motion, disperse, dissipate, scatter

9. force out or release suddenly and often violently something pent up

- break into tears

Similar word(s): burst, erupt

Definition categories: emotion

10. prevent completion

- break off the negotiations

Similar word(s): discontinue, stop

Definition categories: change, end, terminate

11. enter someone's (virtual or real) property in an unauthorized manner, usually with the intent to steal or commit a violent act

Definition categories: social, intrude, trespass

12. make submissive, obedient, or useful

- The horse was tough to break

Definition categories: change, domesticate, domesticise, domesticize, reclaim, tame

13. fail to agree with; be in violation of; as of rules or patterns

Similar word(s): violate

Definition categories: stative

14. surpass in excellence

- break a record

Similar word(s): better

Definition categories: competition, exceed, outdo, outgo, outmatch, outperform, outstrip, surmount, surpass

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

Similar word(s): disclose, discover, divulge, expose, reveal, uncover, unwrap

Definition categories: communication, tell

16. come into being

Definition categories: change, become, get, go

17. stop operating or functioning

Similar word(s): die, fail, go

Definition categories: change

18. interrupt a continued activity

Definition categories: social, break, part, separate, split

19. make a rupture in the ranks of the enemy or one's own by quitting or fleeing

Definition categories: motion, flee, fly

20. curl over and fall apart in surf or foam, of waves

Definition categories: motion, break, collapse, founder, give

21. lessen in force or effect

- break a fall

Similar word(s): damp, dampen, soften, weaken

Definition categories: change, blunt, deaden

22. be broken in

- If the new teacher won't break, we'll add some stress

Definition categories: change

23. come to an end

Definition categories: stative, cease, end, finish, stop, terminate

24. vary or interrupt a uniformity or continuity

Definition categories: stative, alter, change, vary

25. cause to give up a habit

Definition categories: stative

26. give up

- break cigarette smoking

Definition categories: stative, cease, discontinue, quit, stop

27. come forth or begin from a state of latency

Definition categories: stative, emerge

28. happen or take place

- Things have been breaking pretty well for us in the past few months

Definition categories: social, hap, happen, occur, pass

29. cause the failure or ruin of

- This play will either make or break the playwright

Definition categories: social, ruin

30. invalidate by judicial action

Definition categories: social, annul, avoid, invalidate, nullify, quash, void

31. discontinue an association or relation; go different ways

Similar word(s): part, separate, split

Definition categories: social

32. assign to a lower position; reduce in rank

Similar word(s): bump, demote, relegate

Definition categories: social, assign, delegate, depute, designate

33. reduce to bankruptcy

- My daughter's fancy wedding is going to break me!

Similar word(s): bankrupt, ruin, smash

Definition categories: possession, impoverish

34. change directions suddenly

Definition categories: motion, change, shift, switch

35. emerge from the surface of a body of water

Definition categories: motion, appear

36. break down, literally or metaphorically

Similar word(s): collapse, founder, give

Definition categories: motion, change

37. do a break dance

- Kids were break-dancing at the street corner

Definition categories: motion, dance

38. exchange for smaller units of money

- I had to break a $100 bill just to buy the candy

Definition categories: contact, change, commute, convert, exchange

39. destroy the completeness of a set of related items

- The book dealer would not break the set

Definition categories: contact, alter, change, modify

40. make the opening shot that scatters the balls

Definition categories: contact, shoot

41. separate from a clinch, in boxing

Definition categories: contact, disunite, divide, part, separate

42. go to pieces

Similar word(s): bust, wear

Definition categories: contact, crumble, decay, dilapidate

43. break a piece from a whole

- break a branch from a tree

Definition categories: contact, detach

44. become punctured or penetrated

Definition categories: contact

45. pierce or penetrate

Definition categories: contact, penetrate, perforate

46. be released or become known; of news

Definition categories: communication

47. cease an action temporarily

- let's break for lunch

Similar word(s): intermit, pause

Definition categories: communication, disrupt, interrupt

48. interrupt the flow of current in

- break a circuit

Definition categories: communication, disrupt, interrupt

49. undergo breaking

Definition categories: communication, diphthongise, diphthongize

50. find a flaw in

- break an alibi

- break down a proof

Definition categories: cognition, destroy, ruin

51. find the solution or key to

- break the code

Definition categories: cognition, lick, solve, work

52. change suddenly from one tone quality or register to another

Definition categories: change, shift, switch

53. happen

Similar word(s): develop, recrudesce

Definition categories: change, hap, happen, occur, pass

54. become fractured; break or crack on the surface only

Similar word(s): check, crack

Definition categories: change

55. crack; of the male voice in puberty

- his voice is breaking--he should no longer sing in the choir

Definition categories: change, turn

56. fall sharply

Definition categories: change, decrease, diminish, fall, lessen

57. fracture a bone of

Similar word(s): fracture

Definition categories: body, injure, wound

58. diminish or discontinue abruptly

Definition categories: body, decrease, diminish, fall, lessen

59. weaken or destroy in spirit or body

Definition categories: body, weaken

Sentences with break as a verb:

- If the vase falls to the floor, it might break.

- Can you break a hundred-dollar bill for me?

- Interrogators have used many forms of torture to break prisoners of war.

- My heart is breaking.

- You have to break an elephant before you can use it as an animal of burden.

- The interrogator hoped to break her to get her testimony against her accomplices.

- I've got to break this habit I have of biting my nails.

- to break silence; to break one's sleep; to break one's journey

- When you go to Vancouver, promise me you won't break the law.

- break one's word

- Time travel would break the laws of physics.

- Letting white have three extra queens would break chess.

- Did you two break the trolley by racing with it?

- break a seal

- The forecast says the hot weather will break by midweek.

- The newsman wanted to break a big story, something that would make him famous.

- I don't know how to break this to you, but your cat is not coming back.

- In the latest breaking news...

- Things began breaking bad for him when his parents died.

- His voice breaks when he gets emotional.

- He needs to break serve to win the match.

- Is it your or my turn to break?

- The referee ordered the boxers to break the clinch.

- The cavalry were not able to break the British squares.

- to break flax

- to break into a run or gallop