Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

break off

verb

Definition of break off

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to stop abruptly <break off in the middle of a sentence>

  3. 2 :  to become detached <branches that broke off in the storm>

  4. 3 :  to end a relationship <broke off with his business partner>

  5. transitive verb
  6. 1 :  discontinue <break off diplomatic relations>

  7. 2 :  to remove by or as if by breaking <broke off a chunk of bread>



Examples of break off in a sentence

  1. <the judge broke off court proceedings until after lunch>

  2. <talks between the two sides broke off when one began making unreasonable demands>



14th Century

First Known Use of break off

14th century


Learn More about break off


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up break off? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to take off or remove

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

lavender-fields-in-france

Which of these is a synonym of caesura?

interruption torrent rebellion megillah
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ