from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To cause to separate into pieces suddenly or violently; smash.
  • intransitive verb To divide into pieces, as by bending or cutting.
  • intransitive verb To separate into components or parts.
  • intransitive verb To snap off or detach.
  • intransitive verb To cause to undergo a fracture of (a bone, for example).
  • intransitive verb To experience a fracture in (a bone, for example).
  • intransitive verb To crack without separating into pieces.
  • intransitive verb To destroy the completeness of (a group of related items).
  • intransitive verb To exchange for smaller monetary units.
  • intransitive verb To vary or disrupt the uniformity or continuity of.
  • intransitive verb Electricity To render (a circuit) inoperative by disruption; open.
  • intransitive verb To open (a shotgun or similar firearm) at the breech, as for loading or cleaning.
  • intransitive verb To force or make a way through; puncture or penetrate.
  • intransitive verb To part or pierce the surface of.
  • intransitive verb To produce (a sweat) copiously on the skin, as from exercise.
  • intransitive verb To force one's way out of; escape from.
  • intransitive verb To make or bring about by cutting or forcing.
  • intransitive verb To find an opening or flaw in.
  • intransitive verb To find the solution or key to; uncover the basic elements and arrangement of.
  • intransitive verb To make known, as news.
  • intransitive verb To surpass or outdo.
  • intransitive verb To overcome or put an end to, especially by force or strong opposition.
  • intransitive verb Sports To win a game on (an opponent's service), as in tennis.
  • intransitive verb To lessen the force or effect of.
  • intransitive verb To render useless or inoperative.
  • intransitive verb To weaken or destroy, as in spirit or health; overwhelm with adversity.
  • intransitive verb To cause the ruin or failure of (an enterprise, for example).
  • intransitive verb To reduce in rank; demote.
  • intransitive verb To cause to be without money or to go into bankruptcy.
  • intransitive verb To fail to fulfill; cancel.
  • intransitive verb To fail to conform to; violate.
  • intransitive verb Law To cause (a will) to be invalidated because of inconsistency with state inheritance laws or as a result of other legal insufficiency.
  • intransitive verb To give up (a habit).
  • intransitive verb To cause to give up a habit.
  • intransitive verb To train to obey; tame.
  • intransitive verb To become separated into pieces or fragments.
  • intransitive verb To become cracked or split.
  • intransitive verb To become fractured.
  • intransitive verb To become unusable or inoperative.
  • intransitive verb To give way; collapse.
  • intransitive verb To burst.
  • intransitive verb To intrude.
  • intransitive verb To filter in or penetrate.


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

[Middle English breken, from Old English brecan; see bhreg- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English breken, from Old English brecan ("to break"), from Proto-Germanic *brekanan (“to break”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰrag-.


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  • In some poems, the circumstances under which they are written will be the only introduction necessary, as in the case of _Break, break, break_ or _The Recessional_.

    Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Literature

  • The eye alone would never detect the exquisite music of such a poem as _Hide and Seek_, Third Reader, p. 50, or _Break, break, break_, p. 201.

    Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Literature

  • * @param string $break The line is broken using the optional break parameter.

  • * @param string $break The line is broken using the optional break parameter.

  • The lunch break is not only an opportunity to take a break from the conference, should you need one, but also a chance to chat to the other participants and to enjoy the event in a more relaxed social environment.

    Archive 2007-05-27

  • I had parked myself in one of the cafe's comfy chairs in order to mark some papers yes, I'm still having to do this during the term break, when I should be vegging out instead, and the man next to me asked if I was a teacher.

    i will not publish your book

  • This past week, the term break, was the first time I read a newspaper in months.

    phonological restructuring and distraction

  • It was very nice having the past week off for the term break, and I ordered and received a new black MacBook (which is being partially subsidized by Hwa Chong, since I'm using it as my school computer) and an iPod Touch (which is also mostly being covered by Apple's education rebate); I wouldn't have ordered either otherwise.

    back to school

  • Amy's mum and dad gave me the Star Wars Trilogy DVD, so I know what I'll be doing during the term break, eh?

    trinityboy Diary Entry

  • Then I saw her eyes focus over my shoulder, saw her expression break apart, heard the feet on the porch behind me, this time fast and running.

    Neon Rain


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  • Does anybody else hear the old Kit-kat jingle?

    June 19, 2007

  • And now I will hear it for hours, echoing through my brain...

    June 19, 2007

  • Talk about an earworm... ;-)

    June 20, 2007

  • Click 'more' on WordNet if you have nothing to do for the weekend.

    August 22, 2008

  • Winning a game when your opponent is serving.

    January 26, 2009

  • break it to them ==> contar para eles

    March 7, 2013