breaking Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the act of breaking something
    break; breakage.
    • the breakage was unavoidable
  2. verb terminate
    interrupt; break.
    • She interrupted her pregnancy
    • break a lucky streak
    • break the cycle of poverty
  3. verb become separated into pieces or fragments
    break; split up; fall apart; come apart; separate.
    • The figurine broke
    • The freshly baked loaf fell apart
  4. verb render inoperable or ineffective
    • You broke the alarm clock when you took it apart!
  5. verb ruin completely
    break; bust.
    • He busted my radio!
  6. verb destroy the integrity of; usually by force; cause to separate into pieces or fragments
    • He broke the glass plate
    • She broke the match
  7. verb act in disregard of laws, rules, contracts, or promises
    go against; infract; violate; break; offend; breach; transgress.
    • offend all laws of humanity
    • violate the basic laws or human civilization
    • break a law
    • break a promise
  8. verb move away or escape suddenly
    break; break away; break out.
    • The horses broke from the stable
    • Three inmates broke jail
    • Nobody can break out--this prison is high security
  9. verb scatter or part
    • The clouds broke after the heavy downpour
  10. verb force out or release suddenly and often violently something pent up
    break; erupt; burst.
    • break into tears
    • erupt in anger
  11. verb prevent completion
    break; stop; discontinue; break off.
    • stop the project
    • break off the negotiations
  12. verb enter someone's (virtual or real) property in an unauthorized manner, usually with the intent to steal or commit a violent act
    break; break in.
    • Someone broke in while I was on vacation
    • They broke into my car and stole my radio!
    • who broke into my account last night?
  13. verb make submissive, obedient, or useful
    break; break in.
    • The horse was tough to break
    • I broke in the new intern
  14. verb fail to agree with; be in violation of; as of rules or patterns
    go against; break; violate.
    • This sentence violates the rules of syntax
  15. verb surpass in excellence
    better; break.
    • She bettered her own record
    • break a record
  16. verb make known to the public information that was previously known only to a few people or that was meant to be kept a secret
    disclose; reveal; unwrap; bring out; expose; let on; discover; divulge; break; let out; give away.
    • The auction house would not disclose the price at which the van Gogh had sold
    • The actress won't reveal how old she is
    • bring out the truth
    • he broke the news to her
    • unwrap the evidence in the murder case
  17. verb come into being
    • light broke over the horizon
    • Voices broke in the air
  18. verb stop operating or functioning
    die; give out; give way; break; go; go bad; conk out; fail; break down.
    • The engine finally went
    • The car died on the road
    • The bus we travelled in broke down on the way to town
    • The coffee maker broke
    • The engine failed on the way to town
    • her eyesight went after the accident
  19. verb interrupt a continued activity
    break; break away.
    • She had broken with the traditional patterns
  20. verb make a rupture in the ranks of the enemy or one's own by quitting or fleeing
    • The ranks broke
  21. verb curl over and fall apart in surf or foam, of waves
    • The surf broke
  22. verb lessen in force or effect
    break; damp; weaken; dampen; soften.
    • soften a shock
    • break a fall
  23. verb be broken in
    • If the new teacher won't break, we'll add some stress
  24. verb come to an end
    • The heat wave finally broke yesterday
  25. verb vary or interrupt a uniformity or continuity
    • The flat plain was broken by tall mesas
  26. verb cause to give up a habit
    • She finally broke herself of smoking cigarettes
  27. verb give up
    • break cigarette smoking
  28. verb come forth or begin from a state of latency
    • The first winter storm broke over New York
  29. verb happen or take place
    • Things have been breaking pretty well for us in the past few months
  30. verb cause the failure or ruin of
    • His peccadilloes finally broke his marriage
    • This play will either make or break the playwright
  31. verb invalidate by judicial action
    • The will was broken
  32. verb discontinue an association or relation; go different ways
    break; break up; separate; split up; part; split.
    • The business partners broke over a tax question
    • The couple separated after 25 years of marriage
    • My friend and I split up
  33. verb assign to a lower position; reduce in rank
    bump; break; demote; relegate; kick downstairs.
    • She was demoted because she always speaks up
    • He was broken down to Sergeant
  34. verb reduce to bankruptcy
    break; smash; ruin; bankrupt.
    • My daughter's fancy wedding is going to break me!
    • The slump in the financial markets smashed him
  35. verb change directions suddenly
  36. verb emerge from the surface of a body of water
    • The whales broke
  37. verb break down, literally or metaphorically
    collapse; founder; give; give way; break; cave in; fall in.
    • The wall collapsed
    • The business collapsed
    • The dam broke
    • The roof collapsed
    • The wall gave in
    • The roof finally gave under the weight of the ice
  38. verb do a break dance
    break-dance; break; break dance.
    • Kids were break-dancing at the street corner
  39. verb exchange for smaller units of money
    • I had to break a $100 bill just to buy the candy
  40. verb destroy the completeness of a set of related items
    break; break up.
    • The book dealer would not break the set
  41. verb make the opening shot that scatters the balls
  42. verb separate from a clinch, in boxing
    • The referee broke the boxers
  43. verb go to pieces
    break; wear out; fall apart; wear; bust.
    • The lawn mower finally broke
    • The gears wore out
    • The old chair finally fell apart completely
  44. verb break a piece from a whole
    break; snap off; break off.
    • break a branch from a tree
  45. verb become punctured or penetrated
    • The skin broke
  46. verb pierce or penetrate
    • The blade broke her skin
  47. verb be released or become known; of news
    break; get around; get out.
    • News of her death broke in the morning
  48. verb cease an action temporarily
    intermit; break; pause.
    • We pause for station identification
    • let's break for lunch
  49. verb interrupt the flow of current in
    • break a circuit
  50. verb undergo breaking
    • The simple vowels broke in many Germanic languages
  51. verb find a flaw in
    • break an alibi
    • break down a proof
  52. verb find the solution or key to
    • break the code
  53. verb change suddenly from one tone quality or register to another
    • Her voice broke to a whisper when she started to talk about her children
  54. verb happen
    break; recrudesce; develop.
    • Report the news as it develops
    • These political movements recrudesce from time to time
  55. verb become fractured; break or crack on the surface only
    break; check; crack.
    • The glass cracked when it was heated
  56. verb crack; of the male voice in puberty
    • his voice is breaking--he should no longer sing in the choir
  57. verb fall sharply
    • stock prices broke
  58. verb fracture a bone of
    break; fracture.
    • I broke my foot while playing hockey
  59. verb diminish or discontinue abruptly
    • The patient's fever broke last night
  60. verb weaken or destroy in spirit or body
    • His resistance was broken
    • a man broken by the terrible experience of near-death