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

  • n. The act or an instance of breaking up, as a division, dispersal, or disintegration.
  • n. The discontinuance of a relationship, as a marriage or a friendship.
  • n. The cracking and shifting of ice in rivers or harbors during the spring.
  • n. A loss of control or composure.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of breaking up; disintegration or division
  • n. The termination of a romantic or sexual relationship
  • n. A loss of emotional control; a breakdown

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Disruption; coming apart; a separation and dispersion of the parts or members.
  • n. the termination of a relationship; a break-up of the government; the break-up of a marriage; the break-up of a business partnership; the break-up of a comedy team.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A disruption; a dissolution of connection; a separation of a mass into parts; a disintegration; a disbandment.
  • Pertaining to or in celebration of the breaking up or termination of any society, association, meeting, or the like: as, a break-up party or ceremony.

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

  • n. coming apart
  • n. the termination or disintegration of a relationship (between persons or nations)
  • v. laugh unrestrainedly
  • v. cause to go into a solution
  • v. attack with or as if with a pickaxe of ice or rocky ground, for example
  • v. bring the association of to an end or cause to break up
  • v. suffer a nervous breakdown
  • v. release ice
  • v. set or keep apart
  • v. make a break in
  • v. destroy the completeness of a set of related items
  • v. take apart into its constituent pieces
  • v. discontinue an association or relation; go different ways
  • v. break or cause to break into pieces
  • v. close at the end of a session
  • v. to cause to separate and go in different directions
  • v. come apart
  • v. come to an end
  • v. break violently or noisily; smash
  • v. separate (substances) into constituent elements or parts
  • v. cause to separate


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • He has a song called "Flirted With You All My Life," which he described as his breakup song with death, the song about flirting with death and then deciding death, I'm not ready.

    In Memoriam: Sweet, Sad Rocker Vic Chesnutt

  • I'm just saying that they exist so I can say that the breakup is far from a surprise, and in some ways it feels like a relief - not because I don't care for her, but because it has not * felt* like a relationship in quite some time, so now at least the cognitive dissonance of calling it something it's not no longer exists.

    Thor's Day

  • She called the breakup amicable and said that they planned to continue raising their two young children together.

    Lilit Marcus: Melissa Etheridge, Tammy Lynn Michaels, and Breaking Up in the Era of the Blog

  • One you get to that point, you can start seeing how the Melfi breakup is integral to the final scene.

    Matthew Yglesias » More Sopranos Blogging

  • If you have a happy couple lurking around somewhere, they must end in breakup or death because OMG that's drama.

    A Vaccine For Whedon Syndrome

  • Not surprisingly, the bulk of the wreckage lay under the main breakup, from south of Dallas eastward across the rugged, snake-infested brushland of East Texas and into Louisiana; and that is where most of the search took place.

    Columbia's Last Flight

  • Family breakup is an inevitable feature of American life, and anyone who thinks otherwise is indulging in nostalgia or trying to turn back the clock.

    Dan Quayle Was Right

  • Mr. Putin denies that he wants another Soviet Union, despite his public laments for the "tragedy of century," as he calls the breakup of the Communist empire.

    The Globe and Mail - Home RSS feed

  • The Dirty was in the passenger seat of a New Year's Eve spat between Lindsay and Sam Ro while they were DJ'ing a party at Mansion in Miami, and he happened to be in the middle of something he classifies as a breakup:

  • Yes, unfortunately it’s true that sometimes, once in a blue moon, every so often every other decade, you may have what I call a breakup on your hands.

    The Lo-Down


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