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break

 
 
pronunciation:
breIk
parts of speech:
transitive verb, intransitive verb, noun
phrases:
break down, break in, break up
features:
Word Combinations (verb, noun), Homophone Note, Word Explorer
part of speech: transitive verb
inflections: breaks, breaking, broke, broken
definition 1: to cause to separate suddenly or forcefully into pieces.
He broke the dry branch with his foot and threw the pieces onto the campfire.I broke the plate when I dropped it in the sink.
synonyms:
demolish, shatter, smash, snap
similar words:
burst, clip, crash, crush, fracture, fragment, grind, mangle, mash, mince, part, pulverize, rend, rift, rupture, splinter, split, sunder, tear
definition 2: to crack, destroy, or make inoperative or unusable.
He broke his computer when he spilled coffee on the keyboard.
synonyms:
demolish, destroy, ruin, shatter, wreck
antonyms:
mend
similar words:
annihilate, blast, bust, crack, crash, damage, mangle, total
definition 3: to forcefully overcome the strength or resistance of.
With their cruelty, they broke their prisoner's spirit.The management broke the workers' strike.
 
synonyms:
crush, defeat, overcome, quash, wreck
similar words:
annihilate, batter, bust, dash, demolish, frustrate, overpower, overwhelm, put down, stamp out, subdue, suppress, tame, thwart
definition 4: to move suddenly or forcefully out of; escape from.
Some prisoners were able to break from the jail.
synonyms:
escape
similar words:
flee
definition 5: to end the sameness of; interrupt.
A change breaks the monotony.
synonyms:
interrupt
similar words:
change, discontinue, disrupt, relieve, violate
definition 6: to make bankrupt.
The stock market crash utterly broke her father.
synonyms:
bankrupt, bust
similar words:
cripple, impoverish, ruin
definition 7: to make known.
The newspapers broke the story in a special edition.Who will be the one to break the bad news to her?
synonyms:
disclose, divulge, expose, reveal, uncover
similar words:
bare, betray
definition 8: to fail to act in accordance with.
He broke the law and now he's being punished.She broke her promise to share the money.
synonyms:
breach, defy, disobey, infringe, transgress, violate
antonyms:
keep, observe
similar words:
contravene, disregard, neglect, oppose, shirk
definition 9: to soften the impact of.
He came off the roof, but the bushes broke his fall.
synonyms:
cushion, soften
similar words:
check, lessen
definition 10: to outdo.
She may break the world record in this upcoming race.
synonyms:
better, exceed, outdo, surpass, top
similar words:
beat, cap, eclipse, outstrip, overcome
 
part of speech: intransitive verb
definition 1: to become separated into pieces; shatter.
The cup fell to the floor and broke.The thin ice broke as the boy stepped on it.
synonyms:
crack, shatter, smash, snap
similar words:
clip, crash, disintegrate, fracture, fragment, splinter, split, tear
definition 2: to become ruined or unusable.
Our old toaster finally broke, so we're getting a new one.
synonyms:
collapse
similar words:
bust, crack, fail
definition 3: to burst or collapse.
Water pipes can break when the temperature drops below freezing.
synonyms:
burst, collapse, rupture, split
similar words:
crash, explode, give
definition 4: to stop or disappear suddenly.
The fever has finally broken and the patient is more comfortable now.
synonyms:
cease, check, halt, stop
similar words:
disappear, end, vanish
definition 5: to suddenly erupt, as a storm.
When the thunderstorm broke, we headed as quickly as we could to shelter.
similar words:
appear, burst, erupt, explode, happen, occur
definition 6: to come into public notice, as news.
When the frightening story broke, many people panicked.
similar words:
emerge, transpire, unfold
definition 7: to move away suddenly and rapidly.
The deer broke from cover.The dog broke from its owner when it saw the rabbit.
synonyms:
flee
similar words:
dash, escape, fly, fly the coop, move, run
definition 8: of a pitch in baseball, to curve.
The pitch seemed to break right over the plate.
synonyms:
curve
similar words:
dip
Word CombinationsSubscriber feature About this feature
phrase: break down
phrase: break in
 
part of speech: noun
definition 1: the act or result of breaking or separating into pieces.
The break in her wrist was serious and healed slowly.
synonyms:
breach, fracture, smash
similar words:
chip, crack, cut, fissure, flaw, leak, rent, rift, rupture, slit, snap, splinter, split, tear
definition 2: a rapid movement away; escape.
The prisoner made a break for freedom.
synonyms:
escape, flight
similar words:
run
definition 3: a suspending of activity; interruption.
There was a break in electrical service to our neighborhood that lasted six hours.The meeting was long but we took a few breaks.A break in peace negotiations occurred because of an attack on a village.
synonyms:
discontinuance, hiatus, interruption, pause, suspension
similar words:
catch, cease, cessation, gap, halt, interlude, intermission, interval, recess, relaxation, respite, rest, stop, stoppage
definition 4: an opportunity.
The film was a big break for the actress, who now, of course, is a famous star.
synonyms:
chance, opening, opportunity
definition 5: a severed connection.
A break occurred in their relations a year ago, and now the brothers never speak.
synonyms:
breach, rift, separation, severance, split
similar words:
division, flaw, rent, rupture, schism
definition 6: a sudden change, as in pitch or direction.
We heard a break in his voice as he began the eulogy.
similar words:
alteration, change, modification, modulation
definition 7: the first shot in a billiards game, which scatters the balls.
I retrieved the balls, since it was my turn for the break.
Word CombinationsSubscriber feature About this feature
phrase: break up
derivation: breakable (adj.)
Homophone Note
Are you looking for the word brake (a stopping device)? Break and brake sound alike but have different meanings.
Word Explorer
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  electricity, emotion, first aid, injury, tooth