Definitions

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

  • n. An act of overcoming or penetrating an obstacle or restriction.
  • n. A military offensive that penetrates an enemy's lines of defense.
  • n. A major achievement or success that permits further progress, as in technology.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Characterized by major progress or overcoming some obstacle.
  • n. An advance through and past enemy lines (or vice versa).
  • n. Any major progress; such as a great innovation or discovery that overcomes a significant obstacle.
  • n. The penetration of the opposition defence

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a productive insight.
  • n. a sudden change of situation, such as making an important discovery, that permits further rapid advances toward a goal.
  • n. a penetration of an enemy's defense in depth and strength.

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

  • v. break out
  • v. penetrate
  • v. pass through (a barrier)
  • n. making an important discovery
  • n. a productive insight
  • n. a penetration of a barrier such as an enemy's defense

Etymologies

break +‎ through (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • In oil/gas extraction and production parlance, breakthrough most commonly refers to water or gas breakthrough, where water or gas injected via injection wells to maintain reservoir pressure breaks through to the producing well(s).

    June 2, 2010

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    March 7, 2008

  • Good news for a scientist, bad news for a roofer! --NYT crossword puzzle clue

    March 7, 2008