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Definition of BREAK

5 definitions found:



Break \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, br[aum]kka to crack, Dan. br[ae]kke to break, Goth. brikan to break, L. frangere. Cf. {Bray} to pound, {Breach}, {Fragile}.]
     1. To strain apart; to sever by fracture; to divide with violence; as, to break a rope or chain; to break a seal; to break an axle; to break rocks or coal; to break a lock.
        --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]

     2. To lay open as by breaking; to divide; as, to break a package of goods. [1913 Webster]

     3. To lay open, as a purpose; to disclose, divulge, or communicate. [1913 Webster]

              Katharine, break thy mind to me.      --Shak. [1913 Webster]

     4. To infringe or violate, as an obligation, law, or promise. [1913 Webster]

              Out, out, hyena! these are thy wonted arts . . . To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray.
                                                    --Milton [1913 Webster]

     5. To interrupt; to destroy the continuity of; to dissolve or terminate; as, to break silence; to break one's sleep; to break one's journey. [1913 Webster]

              Go, release them, Ariel;
              My charms I'll break, their senses I'll restore.
                                                    --Shak. [1913 Webster]

     6. To destroy the completeness of; to remove a part from; as, to break a set. [1913 Webster]

     7. To destroy the arrangement of; to throw into disorder; to pierce; as, the cavalry were not able to break the British squares. [1913 Webster]

     8. To shatter to pieces; to reduce to fragments. [1913 Webster]

              The victim broke in pieces the musical instruments with which he had solaced the hours of captivity.
                                                    --Prescott. [1913 Webster]

     9. To exchange for other money or currency of smaller denomination; as, to break a five dollar bill. [1913 Webster]

     10. To destroy the strength, firmness, or consistency of; as, to break flax. [1913 Webster]

     11. To weaken or impair, as health, spirit, or mind. [1913 Webster]

               An old man, broken with the storms of state.
                                                    --Shak. [1913 Webster]

     12. To diminish the force of; to lessen the shock of, as a fall or blow. [1913 Webster]

               I'll rather leap down first, and break your fall.
                                                    --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

     13. To impart, as news or information; to broach; -- with to, and often with a modified word implying some reserve; as, to break the news gently to the widow; to break a purpose cautiously to a friend. [1913 Webster]

     14. To tame; to reduce to subjection; to make tractable; to discipline; as, to break a horse to the harness or saddle. "To break a colt." --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

               Why, then thou canst not break her to the lute?
                                                    --Shak. [1913 Webster]

     15. To destroy the financial credit of; to make bankrupt; to ruin. [1913 Webster]

               With arts like these rich Matho, when he speaks, Attracts all fees, and little lawyers breaks.
                                                    --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

     16. To destroy the official character and standing of; to cashier; to dismiss. [1913 Webster]

               I see a great officer broken.        --Swift. [1913 Webster]

     Note: With prepositions or adverbs:
           [1913 Webster]

     {To break down}.
         (a) To crush; to overwhelm; as, to break down one's strength; to break down opposition. (b) To remove, or open a way through, by breaking; as, to break down a door or wall.

     {To break in}.
         (a) To force in; as, to break in a door.
         (b) To train; to discipline; as, a horse well broken in.


     {To break of}, to rid of; to cause to abandon; as, to break one of a habit.

     {To break off}.
         (a) To separate by breaking; as, to break off a twig. (b) To stop suddenly; to abandon. "Break off thy sins by righteousness." --Dan. iv. 27.

     {To break open}, to open by breaking. "Open the door, or I will break it open." --Shak.

     {To break out}, to take or force out by breaking; as, to break out a pane of glass.

     {To break out a cargo}, to unstow a cargo, so as to unload it easily.

     {To break through}.
         (a) To make an opening through, as, as by violence or the force of gravity; to pass violently through; as, to break through the enemy's lines; to break through the ice. (b) To disregard; as, to break through the ceremony.

     {To break up}.
         (a) To separate into parts; to plow (new or fallow ground). "Break up this capon." --Shak. "Break up your fallow ground." --Jer. iv. 3. (b) To dissolve; to put an end to. "Break up the court."
             --Shak.

     {To break} (one) {all up}, to unsettle or disconcert completely; to upset. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]

     Note: With an immediate object:
           [1913 Webster]

     {To break the back}.
         (a) To dislocate the backbone; hence, to disable totally. (b) To get through the worst part of; as, to break the back of a difficult undertaking.

     {To break bulk}, to destroy the entirety of a load by removing a portion of it; to begin to unload; also, to transfer in detail, as from boats to cars.

     {To break a code} to discover a method to convert coded messages into the original understandable text.

     {To break cover}, to burst forth from a protecting concealment, as game when hunted.

     {To break a deer} or {To break a stag}, to cut it up and apportion the parts among those entitled to a share.

     {To break fast}, to partake of food after abstinence. See {Breakfast}.

     {To break ground}.
         (a) To open the earth as for planting; to commence excavation, as for building, siege operations, and the like; as, to break ground for a foundation, a canal, or a railroad. (b) Fig.: To begin to execute any plan. (c) (Naut.) To release the anchor from the bottom.

     {To break the heart}, to crush or overwhelm (one) with grief.


     {To break a house} (Law), to remove or set aside with violence and a felonious intent any part of a house or of the fastenings provided to secure it.

     {To break the ice}, to get through first difficulties; to overcome obstacles and make a beginning; to introduce a subject.

     {To break jail}, to escape from confinement in jail, usually by forcible means.

     {To break a jest}, to utter a jest. "Patroclus . . . the livelong day breaks scurril jests." --Shak.

     {To break joints}, to lay or arrange bricks, shingles, etc., so that the joints in one course shall not coincide with those in the preceding course.

     {To break a lance}, to engage in a tilt or contest.

     {To break the neck}, to dislocate the joints of the neck.

     {To break no squares}, to create no trouble. [Obs.]

     {To break a path}, {road}, etc., to open a way through obstacles by force or labor.

     {To break upon a wheel}, to execute or torture, as a criminal by stretching him upon a wheel, and breaking his limbs with an iron bar; -- a mode of punishment formerly employed in some countries.

     {To break wind}, to give vent to wind from the anus. [1913 Webster]

     Syn: To dispart; rend; tear; shatter; batter; violate; infringe; demolish; destroy; burst; dislocate. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]

Break \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. [1913 Webster]

              Else the bottle break, and the wine runneth out.
                                                    --Math. ix.
                                                    17. [1913 Webster]

     3. To burst forth; to make its way; to come to view; to appear; to dawn. [1913 Webster]

              The day begins to break, and night is fled. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

              And from the turf a fountain broke,
              and gurgled at our feet.              --Wordsworth. [1913 Webster]

     4. To burst forth violently, as a storm.
        [1913 Webster]

              The clouds are still above; and, while I speak, A second deluge o'er our head may break. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

     5. To open up; to be scattered; to be dissipated; as, the clouds are breaking. [1913 Webster]

              At length the darkness begins to break. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

     6. To become weakened in constitution or faculties; to lose health or strength. [1913 Webster]

              See how the dean begins to break;
              Poor gentleman! he droops apace.      --Swift. [1913 Webster]

     7. To be crushed, or overwhelmed with sorrow or grief; as, my heart is breaking. [1913 Webster]

     8. To fall in business; to become bankrupt.
        [1913 Webster]

              He that puts all upon adventures doth oftentimes break, and come to poverty.           --Bacn. [1913 Webster]

     9. To make an abrupt or sudden change; to change the gait; as, to break into a run or gallop. [1913 Webster]

     10. To fail in musical quality; as, a singer's voice breaks when it is strained beyond its compass and a tone or note is not completed, but degenerates into an unmusical sound instead. Also, to change in tone, as a boy's voice at puberty. [1913 Webster]

     11. To fall out; to terminate friendship.
         [1913 Webster]

               To break upon the score of danger or expense is to be mean and narrow-spirited.         --Collier. [1913 Webster]

     Note: With prepositions or adverbs:
           [1913 Webster]

     {To break away}, to disengage one's self abruptly; to come or go away against resistance. [1913 Webster]

              Fear me not, man; I will not break away. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

     {To break down}.
         (a) To come down by breaking; as, the coach broke down. (b) To fail in any undertaking; to halt before successful completion; as, the negotiations broke down due to irreconcilable demands. (c) To cease functioning or to malfunction; as, the car broke down in the middle of the highway. [1913 Webster +PJC]

                   He had broken down almost at the outset.
                                                    --Thackeray. [1913 Webster]

     {To break forth}, to issue; to come out suddenly, as sound, light, etc. "Then shall thy light break forth as the morning." --Isa. lviii. 8; [1913 Webster]

     Note: often with into in expressing or giving vent to one's feelings. "Break forth into singing, ye mountains."
           --Isa. xliv. 23.
           [1913 Webster]

     {To break from}, to go away from abruptly.
        [1913 Webster]

              This radiant from the circling crowd he broke.
                                                    --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

     {To break into}, to enter by breaking; as, to break into a house.

     {To break in upon}, to enter or approach violently or unexpectedly. "This, this is he; softly awhile; let us not break in upon him." --Milton.

     {To break loose}.
         (a) To extricate one's self forcibly. "Who would not, finding way, break loose from hell?" --Milton. (b) To cast off restraint, as of morals or propriety.

     {To break off}.
         (a) To become separated by rupture, or with suddenness and violence. (b) To desist or cease suddenly. "Nay, forward, old man; do not break off so." --Shak.

     {To break off from}, to desist from; to abandon, as a habit.


     {To break out}.
         (a) To burst forth; to escape from restraint; to appear suddenly, as a fire or an epidemic. "For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and stream in the desert." --Isa. xxxv. 6 (b) To show itself in cutaneous eruptions; -- said of a disease. (c) To have a rash or eruption on the akin; -- said of a patient.

     {To break over}, to overflow; to go beyond limits.

     {To break up}.
         (a) To become separated into parts or fragments; as, the ice break up in the rivers; the wreck will break up in the next storm. (b) To disperse. "The company breaks up." --I. Watts.

     {To break upon}, to discover itself suddenly to; to dawn upon.

     {To break with}.
         (a) To fall out; to sever one's relations with; to part friendship. "It can not be the Volsces dare break with us." --Shak. "If she did not intend to marry Clive, she should have broken with him altogether."
             --Thackeray.
         (b) To come to an explanation; to enter into conference; to speak. [Obs.] "I will break with her and with her father." --Shak. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]

Break \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 deck of a ship. Specifically: (a) (Arch.) A projection or recess from the face of a building. (b) (Elec.) An opening or displacement in the circuit, interrupting the electrical current. [1913 Webster]

     3. An interruption; a pause; as, a break in friendship; a break in the conversation. [1913 Webster]

     4. An interruption in continuity in writing or printing, as where there is an omission, an unfilled line, etc. [1913 Webster]

              All modern trash is
              Set forth with numerous breaks and dashes. --Swift. [1913 Webster]

     5. The first appearing, as of light in the morning; the dawn; as, the break of day; the break of dawn. [1913 Webster]

     6. A large four-wheeled carriage, having a straight body and calash top, with the driver's seat in front and the footman's behind. [1913 Webster]

     7. A device for checking motion, or for measuring friction. See {Brake}, n. 9 & 10. [1913 Webster]

     8. (Teleg.) See {Commutator}.
        [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]

break


      1. vt. To cause to be {broken} (in any sense). ?Your latest patch to the editor broke the paragraph commands.?

      2. v. (of a program) To stop temporarily, so that it may debugged. The place where it stops is a breakpoint.

      3. [techspeak] vi. To send an RS-232 break (two character widths of line high) over a serial comm line.

      4. [Unix] vi. To strike whatever key currently causes the tty driver to send SIGINT to the current process. Normally, break (sense 3), delete or {control-C} does this.

      5. break break may be said to interrupt a conversation (this is an example of verb doubling). This usage comes from radio communications, which in turn probably came from landline telegraph/teleprinter usage, as badly abused in the Citizen's Band craze of the early 1980s.


The Jargon File (version 4.4.7, 29 Dec 2003) [jargon]

992 Moby Thesaurus words for "break":
     abeyance, about ship, about-face, abrade, abrasion, abscond, abysm, abyss, accidentality, acclimate, acclimatize, accommodate, accommodation, accustom, actuarial calculation, adapt, adaptation, adjust, adjustment, adventitiousness, agree to disagree, alienation, alter, alteration, ameliorate, amelioration, announce, apostasy, appear, apprentice, arrearage, arroyo, back and fill, bankrupt, bark, be at cross-purposes, be changed, be converted into, be poised, be renewed, be ruined, bear away, bear market, bear off, bear to starboard, bearish market, beat, beat about, beat down, become insolvent, become public, bed, bed down, befall, begin, bend, betide, betterment, billow, blemish, blessing, bloody, blooper, blow, boner, boo-boo, boot, bottom out, bounce, box canyon, box off, breach, breach of friendship, break, break away, break down, break forth, break ground, break in, break of, break off, break open, break out, break the ice, break through, break to harness, break up, break with, breakage, breakout, breath, breathe, breather, breathing place, breathing space, breathing spell, breathing time, breed, bridle, brighten, bring about, bring low, bring round, bring to terms, bring up, broken circuit, browbeat, brush, bulldoze, bully, bump, bunk, burglarize, burgle, burn, burn off, burst, burst forth, burst in, bust, buzz about, caesura, call a break, call time, can, cant, cant round, canyon, case harden, cashier, cast, cast about, castrate, casualness, cave, cave in, cavity, cease, cease-fire, cessation, chafe, chance, change, change course, change of heart, change the heading, changeableness, chap, chasm, cheapen, cheapening, check, checker, chimney, chink, chip, chop, chop and change, cigarette break, cipher, circuit, circuital field, circulate, clamp down on, clash, claw, cleavage, cleave, cleft, cleuch, closed circuit, clough, cocktail hour, coerce, coffee break, col, collapse, collide, comb, come about, come apart, come around, come forth, come off, come out, come round, come unstuck, commence, comminute, communicate, compel, complete circuit, concussion, condition, confirm, conflict, confound, confute, conk out, conquer, constructive change, continuity, contradict, contravene, controvert, conversion, convey, coulee, couloir, counter, cow, crack, crackle, cranny, crash, craze, crevasse, crevice, cripple, crumble, crumple, crush, cryptanalyze, cultivate, cure, curry, currycomb, cut, cut apart, cut off, cut prices, cwm, dash, daunt, dawn, day off, dead circuit, debilitate, decamp, decipher, declare a recess, decline, declining market, decompose, deconsecrate, decrypt, defalcation, defeat, defect, defection, deficiency, deficit, defile, deflate, deflation, defrock, defy, degenerate, degeneration, degenerative change, degrade, deliverance, delivery, dell, dement, demerit, demolish, demoralize, demote, depart, depart from, deplume, depose, depreciate, depreciation, deprive, despotize, destiny, destroy, detach, deteriorate, deterioration, dethrone, devaluate, devaluation, develop, deviate, deviation, differ, difference, dike, disaccord, disaccustom, disaffection, disagree, disarrange, disavow, disband, disbar, discipline, disclose, disconfirm, discontinuation, discontinue, discontinuity, discourage, discrown, disemploy, disengage, disenthrone, disfavor, disgrade, disintegrate, disjoin, dismiss, disobey, disperse, displace, displume, disregard, disrupt, disruption, dissent, dissolve, disturb, disunion, disunity, ditch, dive, diverge, divergence, diversification, diversify, diversion, diversity, divide, dividedness, division, divulge, do violence to, domesticate, domesticize, domineer, domineer over, donga, double a point, downgrade, downtime, draw, drench, drill, droop, drop, drum out, ease up, ebb and flow, educate, emerge, emergence, end, enforced respite, enslave, erupt, escape, escapism, establish, estrangement, evasion, evert, excavation, excommunicate, exercise, exfoliate, exhaust, expel, explode, extrication, fade, fail, faint, fall, fall in price, fall out, fall to pieces, falling-out, familiarize, fate, fault, faux, feed, fell, fetch about, fetch up, find vent, fire, fissure, fit, fitting, fix, fizzle out, flag, flash burn, flatten, flaw, flee, flight, flip-flop, flop, flout, fluke, flukiness, flume, fly, fly about, fodder, foil, fold, fold up, form, fortuitousness, fortuity, fortune, foster, found, fracture, fragment, fray, frazzle, freeing, fret, frustrate, furlough, furrow, gaffe, gall, galvanic circuit, gamble, gap, gape, gash, gentle, get about, get abroad, get afloat, get around, get exposure, get through, getaway, give away, give out, give the ax, give the gate, give up, give way, go, go about, go bankrupt, go broke, go downhill, go forth, go into receivership, go soft, go the rounds, go to pieces, go to pot, go to ruin, go under, go up, good fortune, good luck, gorge, gradual change, grind, grind down, groom, groove, grow bright, grow light, gulch, gulf, gully, gybe, habituate, half time, half-time intermission, halt, handle, hap, happenstance, happy chance, happy hour, harden, harness, haul around, have currency, heave, heave round, heedless hap, henpeck, hesitation, hiatus, hit the skids, hitch, hole, holiday, hot circuit, house-train, housebreak, how they fall, humble, humiliate, hurt, ignore, impart, impoverish, impropriety, improve, improvement, inaugurate, incise, incision, indecorum, indeterminacy, indeterminateness, infract, infringe, initiate, injure, injury, innovate, interfere, interim, interject, interlude, intermezzo, intermission, intermit, intermittence, interpose, interregnum, interrupt, interruption, interval, intervene, intimidate, intrude, inure, irregularity, issuance, issue, jailbreak, jangle, jar, jew down, jibe, jibe all standing, joint, jostle, keep down, keep under, kick, kick upstairs, kloof, knock off, lacerate, laceration, lack, lacuna, languish, lapse, lateral circuit, law of averages, lay off, layoff, leak, leakage, leave, leg, lesion, let go, let out, letup, liberation, lick into shape, lift, light, lighten, liquidate, litter, live circuit, look-in, loop, lord it over, lot, lower, lowering, luck, lucky break, lucky strike, lull, magnetic circuit, maim, make mincemeat of, make public, make redundant, manage, mark down, markdown, master, maul, meliorate, melioration, microcircuit, milk, mismatch, mismate, miss stays, missing link, mitigate, mitigation, moat, modification, modulate, modulation, moira, mortal wound, multiple circuit, multiple series, mutate, mutilate, mutilation, naturalize, need, negate, nose dive, nose-dive, notch, nullah, nurse, nurture, object, occasion, occur, off market, off-time, offend, omission, open, open rupture, opening, opportunity, oppress, orient, orientate, oust, out, outage, outlet, overawe, overbear, overcome, overmaster, override, overthrow, overwhelm, pare, parenthesis, pass, pass on, passage, path, pauper, pauperize, pause, peak, peg out, penetrate, pension, pension off, peter out, pierce, pine, plateau, plummet, plummeting, plunge, ply, point of repose, poop out, popple, practice, prepare, press heavy on, price cut, price fall, price reduction, principle of indeterminacy, printed circuit, prisonbreak, probability, problematicness, prostrate, puncture, purge, put about, put back, put down, put in tune, put to school, puzzle out, qualification, quell, quiet spell, radical change, raise, random sample, ravine, re-creation, read out of, ready, realignment, rear, rebut, recall of ambassadors, recess, redesign, reduce, reduction, reform, reformation, refute, rehearse, relax, release, relief, remaking, remission, remove, remove from office, rend, renewal, renounce, rent, replace, repress, repudiate, rescue, reshaping, resolve, respite, rest, resting point, restructuring, retire, retreating market, reveal, reversal, revival, revive, revivification, revolution, riddance, ride down, ride over, ride roughshod over, rift, rime, rip, rise, rise and fall, risk, rive, rob, roll, round a point, rub down, ruin, run, run of luck, rupture, sack, saddle, sag, sagging market, savage, scald, scale, scape, scatter, scend, schism, scissure, scorch, scotch, scrape, scratch, scuff, scuttle, seam, season, second-degree burn, see the light, send, send to school, separate forcibly, separation, serendipity, series multiple, set at defiance, set at naught, set naught by, set up, setting-free, sever, shard, shatter, shave, sheer, shift, shiver, short, short circuit, shortage, shot, show, shut down, sink, skin, slash, slew, slice, slit, slot, slump, smash, snap, snap the thread, soft market, solecism, sore, spell, splinter, split, sprain, spread, spread about, spread like wildfire, spring a leak, squeak, stab, stab wound, stand-down, start, statistical probability, stay, stick, stop, stop for breath, strain, streak of luck, strip, strip of office, strip of rank, stroke of luck, subdue, subjugate, sudden change, superannuate, suppress, surcease, surge, surplus, suspend, suspension, swell, swerve, swing round, swing the stern, switch, tack, take a break, take a recess, take a rest, take a turn, take five, take in hand, take ten, take the plunge, take time out, tame, tea break, tear, tell, ten, tend, terrorize, the breaks, theory of probability, third-degree burn, throw about, time, time off, time out, toss, total change, train, trample down, trample on, trample underfoot, trample upon, transgress, transition, transmit, transpire, trauma, traumatize, tread down, tread underfoot, tread upon, trench, trespass, trim, truce, turn, turn aside, turn back, turn into, turn off, turn out, turn over, turn the corner, turnabout, tyrannize, tyrannize over, ullage, uncertainty, uncertainty principle, unchurch, undergo a change, undermine, undulate, unevenness, unfold, unfrock, unman, unravel, unriddle, unsaddle, unseat, unthrone, upheaval, vacation, valley, vanquish, variation, variety, vary, vector field, veer, vent, violate, violent change, void, wadi, walk all over, walk over, want, wantage, warp, water, wave, weaken, wean, wear, wear away, wear out, wear ship, wear thin, weary, weigh heavy on, whatever comes, wilt, wind, wont, worsen, worsening, wound, wounds immedicable, wrench, yaw, yield, yoke


Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 [moby-thesaurus]


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