Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One that breaks, as a machine for breaking up or crushing a substance, such as rock, coal, or plant fibers.
  • n. A circuit breaker.
  • n. A wave that crests or breaks into foam, as against a shoreline.
  • n. One who break dances.
  • n. Nautical A small water cask, often used in lifeboats.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Something that breaks.
  • n. A machine for breaking rocks, or for breaking coal at the mines
  • n. The building in which such a machine is placed.
  • n. A small cask of liquid kept permanently in a ship's boat in case of shipwreck.
  • n. A person who specializes in breaking things.
  • n. A wave breaking into foam against the shore, or against a sand bank, or a rock or reef near the surface, considered a useful warning to ships of an underwater hazard
  • n. A breakdancer.
  • n. A user of CB radio.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who, or that which, breaks.
  • n. Specifically: A machine for breaking rocks, or for breaking coal at the mines; also, the building in which such a machine is placed.
  • n. A small water cask.
  • n. A wave breaking into foam against the shore, or against a sand bank, or a rock or reef near the surface.
  • n. a quarry worker who splits off blocks of stone.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who or that which breaks anything, as a machine to crush ores, stones, and other hard substances.
  • n. A violator or transgressor: as, a breaker of the law.
  • n. A wave broken into foam against the shore, a sand-bank, or a rock near the surface: generally in the plural.
  • n. [In this sense perhaps a corruption of Sp.barrica, a keg.] A small water-cask used in boats to supply the crew with water and for ballast.
  • n. A trainer, as of horses of dogs.
  • n.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. waves breaking on the shore
  • n. a device that trips like a switch and opens the circuit when overloaded
  • n. a quarry worker who splits off blocks of stone

Etymologies

Alteration of Spanish barrica; see barricade.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
break +‎ -er (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Before child labor laws boys,under age 12,worked inside "Coal Breakers" and were,thus,known as "breaker boys'. My father and three uncles were breaker boys in the anthracite fields of Pennsylvania.

    September 14, 2009

  • In the rare books field, a dealer or other person who breaks up books to sell the plates individually (not always viewed favorably); also used to describe a book itself when its covers are in such bad condition that it must either be rebound or broken up.

    February 25, 2008