Break Definition

Define what is Break?

1. break, interruption (noun)

some abrupt occurrence that interrupts an ongoing activity.

  • the telephone is an annoying interruption.
  • there was a break in the action when a player was hurt.
Synonyms: interruption

happening, natural event, occurrence, occurrent noun
an event that happens.


dislocation, disruption noun
an event that results in a displacement or discontinuity.

punctuation noun
something that makes repeated and regular interruptions or divisions.

abatement, hiatus, reprieve, respite, suspension noun
an interruption in the intensity or amount of something.

eclipse, occultation noun
one celestial body obscures another.

2. break, interrupt (verb)


  • She interrupted her pregnancy.
  • break a lucky streak.
  • break the cycle of poverty.
Synonyms: interrupt

terminate, end verb
bring to an end or halt.


hold on, stop verb
stop and wait, as if awaiting further instructions or developments.

break off, break short, cut short verb
interrupt before its natural or planned end.

suspend, freeze verb
stop a process or a habit by imposing a freeze on it.

3. happy chance, break, good luck (noun)

an unexpected piece of good luck.

  • he finally got his big break.

chance event, fortuity, accident, stroke noun
anything that happens suddenly or by chance without an apparent cause.

4. come apart, break, fall apart, split up, separate (verb)

become separated into pieces or fragments.

  • The figurine broke.
  • The freshly baked loaf fell apart.

change integrity verb
change in physical make-up.


burst, break open, Split verb
come open suddenly and violently, as if from internal pressure.

puncture verb
be pierced or punctured.

bust, burst verb
break open or apart suddenly and forcefully.

smash verb
break suddenly into pieces, as from a violent blow.

ladder, run verb
come unraveled or undone as if by snagging.

snap, crack verb
break suddenly and abruptly, as under tension.

fragment, fragmentise, fragmentize, break up verb
break or cause to break into pieces.

crush verb
become injured, broken, or distorted by pressure.

5. break (verb)

render inoperable or ineffective.

  • You broke the alarm clock when you took it apart!.

damage verb
inflict damage upon.

6. faulting, geological fault, fracture, break, fault, shift (noun)

(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.
  • he studied the faulting of the earth's crust.

crack, scissure, cleft, crevice, fissure noun
a long narrow opening.


inclined fault noun
a geological fault in which one side is above the other.

strike-slip fault noun
a geological fault in which one of the adjacent surfaces appears to have moved horizontally.

7. bust, break (verb)

ruin completely.

  • He busted my radio!.
Synonyms: bust
Antonyms: bushel, fix, furbish up, mend, repair, Doctor, touch on, restore (verb)

restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken.


ruin, destroy verb
destroy completely; damage irreparably.


break down verb
cause to fall or collapse.

8. falling out, severance, rupture, breach, rift, break (noun)

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

  • they hoped to avoid a break in relations.

breakup, separation, detachment noun
coming apart.


schism noun
the formal separation of a church into two churches or the withdrawal of one group over doctrinal differences.

9. break (verb)

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

  • He broke the glass plate.
  • She broke the match.

divide, separate verb
make a division or separation.


shatter verb
cause to break into many pieces.

fracture verb
break into pieces.

break in verb
break so as to fall inward.

dash, smash verb
break into pieces, as by striking or knocking over.

10. time out, respite, break, recess (noun)

a pause from doing something (as work).

  • we took a 10-minute break.
  • he took time out to recuperate.
Synonyms: time out, respite, recess

pause noun
temporary inactivity.


spring break noun
a week or more of recess during the spring term at school.

11. breach, infract, transgress, go against, offend, violate, break (verb)

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

  • offend all laws of humanity.
  • violate the basic laws or human civilization.
  • break a law.
  • break a promise.
Antonyms: keep, observe (verb)

conform one's action or practice to.


disrespect verb
show a lack of respect for.


Sin, transgress, trespass verb
commit a sin; violate a law of God or a moral law.

blunder, boob, drop the ball, goof, Sin verb
commit a faux pas or a fault or make a serious mistake.

contravene, infringe, run afoul, conflict verb
go against, as of rules and laws.

trespass verb
break the law.

trespass, intrude verb
enter unlawfully on someone's property.

12. breaking, breakage, break (noun)

the act of breaking something.

  • the breakage was unavoidable.
Synonyms: breaking, breakage

change of integrity noun
the act of changing the unity or wholeness of something.


rupture noun
the act of making a sudden noisy break.

shattering, smashing noun
the act of breaking something into small pieces.

cracking, fracture, crack noun
the act of cracking something.

chipping, splintering, chip noun
the act of chipping something.

13. break away, break out, break (verb)

move away or escape suddenly.

  • The horses broke from the stable.
  • Three inmates broke jail.
  • Nobody can break out--this prison is high security.

escape, get away, break loose verb
run away from confinement.

14. pause, intermission, suspension, interruption, break (noun)

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


    interval, time interval noun
    a definite length of time marked off by two instants.


    lapse noun
    a break or intermission in the occurrence of something.

    blackout noun
    a suspension of radio or tv broadcasting.

    caesura noun
    a pause or interruption (as in a conversation).

    dead air noun
    an inadvertent interruption in a broadcast during which there is no sound.

    delay, postponement, time lag, wait, hold noun
    time during which some action is awaited.

    halftime noun
    an intermission between the first and second half of a game.

    rest period, rest, respite, relief noun
    a pause for relaxation.

    time-out noun
    a brief suspension of play.

    letup, lull noun
    a pause during which things are calm or activities are diminished.

    15. fracture, break (noun)

    breaking of hard tissue such as bone.

    • it was a nasty fracture.
    • the break seems to have been caused by a fall.
    Synonyms: fracture

    harm, hurt, injury, trauma noun
    any physical damage to the body caused by violence or accident or fracture etc..


    comminuted fracture noun
    fracture in which the bone is splintered or crushed.

    complete fracture noun
    break involving the entire width of the bone.

    compound fracture, open fracture noun
    bone fracture associated with lacerated soft tissue or an open wound.

    compression fracture noun
    fracture in which the bone collapses (especially in short bones such as vertebrae).

    depressed fracture noun
    fracture of the skull where the bone is pushed in.

    displaced fracture noun
    fracture in which the two ends of the broken bone are separated from one another.

    fatigue fracture, stress fracture noun
    fracture resulting from excessive activity rather than a specific injury.

    capillary fracture, hairline fracture noun
    a fracture without separation of the fragments and the line of the break being very thin.

    incomplete fracture noun
    fracture that does not go across the entire width of the bone.

    impacted fracture noun
    fracture in which one broken end is wedged into the other broken end.

    closed fracture, simple fracture noun
    an uncomplicated fracture in which the broken bones to not pierce the skin.

    16. break (verb)

    scatter or part.

    • The clouds broke after the heavy downpour.

    dissipate, scatter, disperse, spread out verb
    move away from each other.

    17. burst, erupt, break (verb)

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

    • break into tears.
    • erupt in anger.
    Synonyms: burst, erupt

    express emotion, express feelings verb
    give verbal or other expression to one's feelings.

    18. break (noun)

    the occurrence of breaking.

    • the break in the dam threatened the valley.

    breakup, separation, detachment noun
    coming apart.


    snap noun
    a sudden breaking.

    19. break off, discontinue, stop, break (verb)

    prevent completion.

    • stop the project.
    • break off the negotiations.

    terminate, end verb
    bring to an end or halt.


    fracture verb
    become fractured.

    bog down, bog verb
    get stuck while doing something.

    cut off, disrupt, interrupt, break up verb
    make a break in.

    20. break (noun)

    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.

    alteration, change, modification noun
    an event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another.

    21. break in, break (verb)

    enter someone's (virtual or real) 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!.
    • who broke into my account last night?.
    Synonyms: break in

    trespass, intrude verb
    enter unlawfully on someone's property.


    crack verb
    gain unauthorized access computers with malicious intentions.

    22. break (noun)

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


      stroke, shot noun
      (sports) the act of swinging or striking at a ball with a club or racket or bat or cue or hand.

      23. break in, break (verb)

      make submissive, obedient, or useful.

      • The horse was tough to break.
      • I broke in the new intern.
      Synonyms: break in

      domesticise, domesticize, domesticate, tame, reclaim verb
      overcome the wildness of; make docile and tractable.

      24. break of serve, break (noun)

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

      • he was up two breaks in the second set.
      Synonyms: break of serve

      score noun
      the act of scoring in a game or sport.

      25. go against, violate, break (verb)

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

      • This sentence violates the rules of syntax.
      Synonyms: go against, violate
      Antonyms: conform to (verb)



      26. disruption, interruption, gap, break (noun)

      an act of delaying or interrupting the continuity.

      • it was presented without commercial breaks.
      • there was a gap in his account.

      delay, holdup noun
      the act of delaying; inactivity resulting in something being put off until a later time.


      cut-in, insert noun
      (film) a still picture that is introduced and that interrupts the action of a film.

      cut-in, insert noun
      (broadcasting) a local announcement inserted into a network program.

      interposition, interjection, interpellation, interpolation noun
      the action of interjecting or interposing an action or remark that interrupts.

      abruption, breaking off noun
      an instance of sudden interruption.

      barracking, heckling noun
      shouting to interrupt a speech with which you disagree.

      27. break (noun)

      a sudden dash.

      • he made a break for the open door.

      sprint, dash noun
      a quick run.


      fast break noun
      (basketball) a rapid dash to get a shot as soon as possible after taking possession of the ball.

      28. better, break (verb)

      surpass in excellence.

      • She bettered her own record.
      • break a record.
      Synonyms: better

      outdo, outgo, outmatch, outperform, outstrip, surpass, exceed, surmount verb
      be or do something to a greater degree.

      29. open frame, break (noun)

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

      • the break in the eighth frame cost him the match.
      Synonyms: open frame

      score noun
      the act of scoring in a game or sport.

      30. disclose, divulge, let on, unwrap, reveal, let out, give away, expose, discover, bring out, break (verb)

      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.
      • unwrap the evidence in the murder case.

      Tell verb
      let something be known.


      blackwash verb
      bring (information) out of concealment.

      muckrake verb
      explore and expose misconduct and scandals concerning public figures.

      blow verb
      cause to be revealed and jeopardized.

      out verb
      reveal (something) about somebody's identity or lifestyle.

      come out of the closet, out, come out verb
      to state openly and publicly one's homosexuality.

      spring verb
      produce or disclose suddenly or unexpectedly.

      betray, bewray verb
      reveal unintentionally.

      confide verb
      reveal in private; tell confidentially.

      leak verb
      tell anonymously.

      peach, babble out, blab, blab out, let the cat out of the bag, spill the beans, tattle, babble, sing, talk verb
      divulge confidential information or secrets.

      reveal verb
      disclose directly or through prophets.

      31. break (verb)

      come into being.

      • light broke over the horizon.
      • Voices broke in the air.

      become, get, go verb
      enter or assume a certain state or condition.

      32. breakout, gaolbreak, jailbreak, prison-breaking, prisonbreak, break (noun)

      an escape from jail.

      • the breakout was carefully planned.

      escape, flight noun
      the act of escaping physically.

      33. conk out, go bad, break down, die, fail, give out, give way, break, go (verb)

      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.

      change verb
      undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature.


      go down, crash verb
      stop operating.

      blow out, burn out, blow verb
      melt, break, or become otherwise unusable.

      misfire verb
      fail to fire or detonate.

      malfunction, misfunction verb
      fail to function or function improperly.

      34. break away, break (verb)

      interrupt a continued activity.

      • She had broken with the traditional patterns.
      Synonyms: break away

      break up, part, Split, split up, separate, break verb
      discontinue an association or relation; go different ways.

      35. break (verb)

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

      • The ranks broke.

      flee, take flight, fly verb
      run away quickly.

      36. break (verb)

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

      • The surf broke.

      cave in, collapse, fall in, give way, founder, give, break verb
      break down, literally or metaphorically.

      37. soften, damp, weaken, dampen, break (verb)

      lessen in force or effect.

      • soften a shock.
      • break a fall.
      Synonyms: soften, damp, weaken, dampen

      blunt, deaden verb
      make less lively, intense, or vigorous; impair in vigor, force, activity, or sensation.


      deafen verb
      make soundproof.

      deaden, damp, dampen verb
      make vague or obscure or make (an image) less visible.

      38. break (verb)

      be broken in.

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

      change verb
      undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature.

      39. break (verb)

      come to an end.

      • The heat wave finally broke yesterday.

      end, cease, terminate, finish, stop verb
      have an end, in a temporal, spatial, or quantitative sense; either spatial or metaphorical.

      40. break (verb)

      vary or interrupt a uniformity or continuity.

      • The flat plain was broken by tall mesas.

      vary, alter, change verb
      become different in some particular way, without permanently losing one's or its former characteristics or essence.

      41. break (verb)

      cause to give up a habit.

      • She finally broke herself of smoking cigarettes.

      42. break (verb)

      give up.

      • break cigarette smoking.

      cease, discontinue, lay off, quit, stop, give up verb
      put an end to a state or an activity.

      43. break (verb)

      come forth or begin from a state of latency.

      • The first winter storm broke over New York.

      come forth, emerge verb
      happen or occur as a result of something.

      44. break (verb)

      happen or take place.

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

      45. break (verb)

      cause the failure or ruin of.

      • His peccadilloes finally broke his marriage.
      • This play will either make or break the playwright.
      Antonyms: make (verb)

      assure the success of.


      ruin verb
      destroy or cause to fail.

      46. break (verb)

      invalidate by judicial action.

      • The will was broken.

      annul, invalidate, nullify, void, quash, avoid verb
      declare invalid.

      47. break up, part, Split, split up, separate, break (verb)

      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.

      give the bounce, give the gate, give the axe verb
      terminate a relationship abruptly.

      disunify, break apart verb
      break up or separate.

      disassociate, disjoint, dissociate, disunite, divorce verb
      part; cease or break association with.

      break with verb
      end a relationship.

      split up, divorce verb
      get a divorce; formally terminate a marriage.

      secede, splinter, break away verb
      withdraw from an organization or communion.

      break away, break verb
      interrupt a continued activity.

      48. demote, kick downstairs, relegate, bump, break (verb)

      assign to a lower position; reduce in rank.

      • She was demoted because she always speaks up.
      • He was broken down to Sergeant.
      Antonyms: elevate, kick upstairs, promote, upgrade, advance, raise (verb)

      give a promotion to or assign to a higher position.


      assign, delegate, designate, depute verb
      give an assignment to (a person) to a post, or assign a task to (a person).


      sideline verb
      remove from the center of activity or attention; place into an inferior position.

      reduce verb
      bring to humbler or weaker state or condition.

      49. bankrupt, ruin, smash, break (verb)

      reduce to bankruptcy.

      • My daughter's fancy wedding is going to break me!.
      • The slump in the financial markets smashed him.
      Synonyms: bankrupt, ruin, smash

      impoverish verb
      make poor.

      50. break (verb)

      change directions suddenly.


        switch, change, shift verb
        lay aside, abandon, or leave for another.

        51. break (verb)

        emerge from the surface of a body of water.

        • The whales broke.

        appear verb
        come into sight or view.

        52. cave in, collapse, fall in, give way, founder, give, break (verb)

        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.

        change verb
        undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature.


        implode, go off verb
        burst inward.

        buckle, crumple verb
        fold or collapse.

        flop verb
        fall loosely.

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

        slide down, slump, sink verb
        fall or sink heavily.

        53. break-dance, break dance, break (verb)

        do a break dance.

        • Kids were break-dancing at the street corner.

        trip the light fantastic, trip the light fantastic toe, dance verb
        move in a pattern; usually to musical accompaniment; do or perform a dance.

        54. break (verb)

        exchange for smaller units of money.

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

        exchange, convert, commute, change verb
        exchange or replace with another, usually of the same kind or category.

        55. break up, break (verb)

        destroy the completeness of a set of related items.

        • The book dealer would not break the set.
        Synonyms: break up

        alter, change, modify verb
        cause to change; make different; cause a transformation.

        56. break (verb)

        make the opening shot that scatters the balls.


          shoot verb
          throw or propel in a specific direction or towards a specific objective.

          57. break (verb)

          separate from a clinch, in boxing.

          • The referee broke the boxers.

          disunite, separate, part, divide verb
          force, take, or pull apart.

          58. fall apart, wear out, bust, wear, break (verb)

          go to pieces.

          • The lawn mower finally broke.
          • The gears wore out.
          • The old chair finally fell apart completely.

          decay, dilapidate, crumble verb
          fall into decay or ruin.


          fray, frazzle verb
          wear away by rubbing.

          59. snap off, break off, break (verb)

          break a piece from a whole.

          • break a branch from a tree.
          Synonyms: snap off, break off

          detach verb
          cause to become detached or separated; take off.

          60. break (verb)

          become punctured or penetrated.

          • The skin broke.

          61. break (verb)

          pierce or penetrate.

          • The blade broke her skin.

          penetrate, perforate verb
          pass into or through, often by overcoming resistance.

          62. get around, get out, break (verb)

          be released or become known; of news.

          • News of her death broke in the morning.
          Synonyms: get around, get out

          leak out, leak verb
          be leaked.

          63. intermit, pause, break (verb)

          cease an action temporarily.

          • We pause for station identification.
          • let's break for lunch.
          Synonyms: intermit, pause

          cut off, disrupt, interrupt, break up verb
          make a break in.


          catch one's breath, take a breather, rest, breathe verb
          take a short break from one's activities in order to relax.

          take five verb
          take a break for five minutes.

          take ten verb
          take a ten minute break.

          64. break (verb)

          interrupt the flow of current in.

          • break a circuit.

          cut off, disrupt, interrupt, break up verb
          make a break in.

          65. break (verb)

          undergo breaking.

          • The simple vowels broke in many Germanic languages.

          diphthongise, diphthongize verb
          change from a simple vowel to a diphthong.

          66. break (verb)

          find a flaw in.

          • break an alibi.
          • break down a proof.

          ruin, destroy verb
          destroy completely; damage irreparably.

          67. break (verb)

          find the solution or key to.

          • break the code.

          figure out, puzzle out, solve, lick, work out, work verb
          find the solution to (a problem or question) or understand the meaning of.

          68. break (verb)

          change suddenly from one tone quality or register to another.

          • Her voice broke to a whisper when she started to talk about her children.

          switch, change, shift verb
          lay aside, abandon, or leave for another.

          69. recrudesce, develop, break (verb)


          • Report the news as it develops.
          • These political movements recrudesce from time to time.
          Synonyms: recrudesce, develop

          70. crack, check, break (verb)

          become fractured; break or crack on the surface only.

          • The glass cracked when it was heated.
          Synonyms: crack, check

          change verb
          undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature.


          crack verb
          break partially but keep its integrity.

          71. break (verb)

          crack; of the male voice in puberty.

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

          change state, turn verb
          undergo a transformation or a change of position or action.

          72. break (verb)

          fall sharply.

          • stock prices broke.

          decrease, diminish, lessen, Fall verb
          decrease in size, extent, or range.

          73. fracture, break (verb)

          fracture a bone of.

          • I broke my foot while playing hockey.
          Synonyms: fracture

          injure, wound verb
          cause injuries or bodily harm to.

          74. break (verb)

          diminish or discontinue abruptly.

          • The patient's fever broke last night.

          decrease, diminish, lessen, Fall verb
          decrease in size, extent, or range.

          75. break (verb)

          weaken or destroy in spirit or body.

          • His resistance was broken.
          • a man broken by the terrible experience of near-death.

          weaken verb
          lessen the strength of.

          Nearby Terms

          break apart (verb)
          take apart into its constituent pieces

          break away (verb)
          move away or escape suddenly

          break bread (verb)
          have a meal, usually with company

          break camp (verb)
          leave a camp

          break dance (noun)
          a form of solo dancing that involves rapid acrobatic moves in which different parts of the body touch the ground; normally performed to the rhythm of rap music

          break dancing (noun)
          a form of solo dancing that involves rapid acrobatic moves in which different parts of the body touch the ground; normally performed to the rhythm of rap music

          break down (verb)
          make ineffective

          break even (verb)
          make neither profit nor loss

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

          break into (verb)
          express or utter spontaneously

          break loose (verb)
          be unleashed; emerge with violence or noise

          break of day (noun)
          the first light of day

          break of serve (noun)
          (tennis) a score consisting of winning a game when your opponent was serving

          break of the day (noun)
          the first light of day

          break off (verb)
          interrupt before its natural or planned end