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

  • noun An instance of breaking open or bursting.
  • noun A break in friendly relations.
  • noun A hernia, especially of the groin or intestines.
  • noun A tear in an organ or tissue.
  • intransitive verb To cause to undergo or suffer a rupture.
  • intransitive verb To undergo or suffer a rupture.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To break; burst; part by violence: as, to rupture a blood-vessel.
  • To affect with or cause to suffer from rupture or hernia.
  • To cause a break or severance of: as, to rupture friendly relations.
  • To suffer a break or rupture; break.
  • In botany, specifically, to dehisce irregularly; dehisce in a ruptile manner.
  • noun In mech.: The splitting or tearing of a boiler or tank from internal pressure or stress, as distinguished from an explosion in which it flies into pieces.
  • noun A breakage or tearing apart by tensile stress in excess of the resisting capacity of the piece.
  • To tear apart; open along a line or at one point, without destroying the whole structure: said of boilers or tanks, as distinguished from explode.
  • noun The act of breaking or bursting; the state of being broken or violently parted: as, a rupture of the skin; the rupture of a vessel or fiber.
  • noun In pathology, hernia, especially abdominal hernia.
  • noun A breach of peace or concord, either between individuals or between nations; open hostility or war between nations; a quarrel.
  • noun Synonyms Breach, etc. See fracture.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To suffer a breach or disruption.
  • transitive verb To part by violence; to break; to burst.
  • transitive verb To produce a hernia in.
  • noun The act of breaking apart, or separating; the state of being broken asunder.
  • noun Breach of peace or concord between individuals; open hostility or war between nations; interruption of friendly relations.
  • noun (Med.) Hernia. See Hernia.
  • noun A bursting open, as of a steam boiler, in a less sudden manner than by explosion. See Explosion.
  • noun (Engin.) See under Modulus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A burst, split, or break.
  • noun A social breach or break, between individuals or groups.
  • noun medicine A break or tear in soft tissue, such as a muscle.
  • noun engineering A failure mode in which a tough ductile material pulls apart rather than cracking.
  • verb transitive, intransitive To burst, break through, or split, as under pressure.

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

  • noun state of being torn or burst open
  • noun the act of making a sudden noisy break
  • noun a personal or social separation (as between opposing factions)
  • verb separate or cause to separate abruptly


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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin ruptūra, from ruptus, past participle of rumpere, to break; see reup- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French rupture, or its source, Latin ruptura ("a breaking, rupture (of a limb or vein), in Medieval Latin also a road, a field, a form of feudal tenure, a tax, etc."), from the participle stem of rumpere ("to break, burst").


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word rupture.



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