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

  • adj. Designed to break, bend, or fall apart easily upon impact, especially to create an illusion, as with a theater prop, or for safety, as with a highway sign or barrier.
  • adj. Severing or having severed alliance with another entity, policy, or attitude: a group of breakaway political reformers.
  • n. One that breaks away.
  • n. The act of breaking away, especially:
  • n. An offensive play in a team sport such as ice hockey in which a player with the ball or puck advances ahead of the defenders toward the goal.
  • n. A burst of speed by a competitor or group of competitors in a race to break free of the pack.
  • n. An object designed to break away.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having broken away from a larger unit.
  • adj. Capable of breaking off without damaging the larger structure.
  • n. A group of riders which has gone ahead of the peloton.
  • n. A situation in the game where one or more players of a team attack towards the goal of the other team without having any defenders in front of them.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A wild rush of sheep, cattle, horses, or camels (especially at the smell or the sight of water); a stampede.
  • n. An animal that breaks away from a herd.
  • n. an object designed to break off or shatter under impact, as a safety measure.
  • n. the sudden emergence of one or more players or contestants from a clustered group, rushing toward a goal, as bicyclists in a race, or baketball players after a rebound has been caught.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An animal which breaks away from a herd or flock.
  • n. A panic rush of sheep, cattle, horses, or other animals at the sight or smell of water; a stampede.

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

  • adj. having separated or advocating separation from another entity or policy or attitude
  • n. the act of breaking away or withdrawing from
  • v. flee; take to one's heels; cut and run
  • v. withdraw from an organization or communion
  • v. interrupt a continued activity
  • v. break off (a piece from a whole)
  • v. move away or escape suddenly


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • “But because yours is the—” The word breakaway occurred to him, but he discarded it. “—newer nation, that would suggest that any uniting of the two would favor Tal’Aura’s government.”

    Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts of Empire

  • Keith Yandle's pass sprung Jovanovski for a breakaway from the Red Wings 'blue line and he beat Osgood between the pads.

  • ` ` To get my first goal on a breakaway is pretty special, '' Hensick said.

  • Morrison took a pass from Sami Salo for a breakaway from the blue line and beat Hasek with a shot through the pads. - Hockey - Vancouver vs. Detroit

  • "In the shootout, the bottom line is if ... your goaltender is good in breakaway situations, you're going to come out on the winning side more often than not," he said. - All-Star shootout thrills fans, but rules likely to stay put

  • Dallas kept the pressure on the Ducks, as Manny Malhotra skated in on a breakaway from the blue line with 9: 16 to go.

  • There aren't many races where the word breakaway is thrown around near as much.

  • And the news has been filled with stories of so-called breakaway Mormons for whom polygamy is only the tip of a marital iceberg of problems.

    Gene Stone: Should Mormons Be Allowed to Marry?

  • During the first nine months of 2008, 59 so-called breakaway brokers selected Fidelity Investments Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services as the custodian for their newly established independent advisory firms.

    Brokers Mull Independence Amid Turmoil

  • Russian forces push beyond the so-called breakaway regions of Georgia, into the republic itself.

    CNN Transcript Aug 11, 2008


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "Nato's reservation in admitting Georgia has mainly stemmed from the unresolved status of the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, where Russia's grip poses a diplomatic minefield."

    - 'Georgia gets limited Nato support',, 16 Sep 2008.

    September 16, 2008

  • From 1919 to 1927, Breakaway was a popular swing dance developed from the Texas Tommy and Charleston in Harlem's African American communities. The Breakaway was danced to jazz, and while it often began in closed position, the leader would occasionally swing the follower out into an open position, hence "Breaking away". When in open position the dancers would improvise with fancy moves. Some variations included both dancers completely breaking away from each other to dance 'alone'. It is this 'breaking away' which revolutionised the European partner dancing structure, and by the late 1920s, Breakaway had been incorporated into Lindy Hop, which replaced it as a popular social dance.


    February 26, 2008