breach

noun
\ˈbrēch \

Definition of breach 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : infraction or violation of a law, obligation, tie, or standard a breach of trust sued them for breach of contract

2a : a broken, ruptured, or torn condition or area a breach of the skin the leak was a major security breach

b : a gap (as in a wall) made by battering fixing a breach in the fence once more unto the breach, dear friends, … or close the wall up with our English dead— Shakespeare

3a : a break in accustomed friendly relations caused a breach between the two countries

b : a temporary gap in continuity : hiatus a breach of routine

4 : a leap especially of a whale out of water

breach

verb
breached; breaching; breaches

Definition of breach (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make a gap in by battering : to make a breach (see breach entry 1 sense 2b) in breached the castle wall

2 : break, violate breach an agreement

intransitive verb

: to leap out of water a whale breaching

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Into the breech or the breach?

If you are about to provide some much-needed assistance in a situation do you get ready to step (or leap, or jump) into the breach or the breech? The former. The sense of breach this expression applies to is “a gap (as in a wall) made by battering.” Breech, on the other hand, refers most often to a part of a rifle (near the rear of the barrel), the buttocks, or short pants which cover the hips and thighs (this sense is always found used in the plural, breeches). You may, if you are in a state of undress, step into your breeches before you step into the breach, but you would never step into your breaches before stepping into the breech.

Examples of breach in a Sentence

Noun

This is clearly a breach of the treaty. Many people consider her decision to be a breach of trust . The judge ruled that the doctor's actions were in breach of her contractual duty.

Verb

He claims that the city breached an agreement by selling the property. Is he going to breach his contract? The army breached the castle wall.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

One that comes to mind is the TJ Maxx security breach from the mid-2000s that compromised more than 100 million customer records. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Bluetooth bugs bite millions of Wi-Fi APs from Cisco, Meraki, and Aruba," 1 Nov. 2018 Timehop is currently working with local and federal enforcement officials to investigate the security breach. Ben Tobin, USA TODAY, "Data breach at media sharing app Timehop exposes 21 million users," 9 July 2018 After each Seattle win, Suzuki slips into that breach. David Waldstein, New York Times, "Ichiro Suzuki’s New Job Comes With Most of the Old Trappings," 5 July 2018 In 2013, South Florida resident Barry Honig won a judgment against Farnsworth after having sued him twice for breach of contract. Rob Wile, miamiherald, "A trail of lawsuits and a failed psychic hotline. Meet the Miami man running MoviePass," 28 June 2018 Luke has vehemently denied the allegations and countersued Kesha for breach of contract and defamation. Jeff Nelson, PEOPLE.com, "Kesha Reveals She's Yet to Be Paid for Rainbow, Blames Dr. Luke for Lady Gaga Text Leak: Lawyer," 15 June 2018 The Navy is leading the investigation into the breach with the assistance of the FBI, officials said. chicagotribune.com, "China hacked Navy contractor, secured trove of sensitive data on submarine warfare," 8 June 2018 The Navy is leading the investigation into the breach with the assistance of the FBI, officials said. Mark Dent, Anchorage Daily News, "China hacked Navy contractor, secured trove of sensitive data on submarine warfare," 8 June 2018 Governments can fine organizations up to 4% of their global revenue for noncompliance, including for failure to process data lawfully, for not having a data protection officer and for security breaches. Rick Noack, latimes.com, "European Union's new privacy law made some websites go dark today. Here's what else has changed," 25 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Prosecutors say Bonthu used nonpublic information to determine that Equifax had been breached before any public announcement. Kate Brumback, The Seattle Times, "Ex-Equifax manager gets home confinement for insider trading," 16 Oct. 2018 TimeHop discovered that its system had been breached in December, when a hacker accessed the system that runs the data for its cloud app but found nothing. Alyssa Newcomb /, NBC News, "Timehop breach: U.S. company navigates Europe's new data privacy rules," 11 July 2018 Even Coinbase, whose own systems have never been breached, has been targeted by thieves who have hacked and drained scores of its customer accounts, including those of prominent investors. Jen Wieczner, Fortune, "Why Coinbase's Cryptocurrency Business Could Jump 50%," 18 May 2018 The company announced Saturday on Twitter that customer credit and debit card information used in March and April at some Chili’s restaurants had been breached. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "Eat at Chili’s? Your debit or credit card info may have been stolen | The Sacramento Bee," 13 May 2018 The Gears of War 3 leak triggered a federal investigation, and Epic began working with the FBI to determine how its security had been breached. Brendan I. Koerner, WIRED, "The Young and the Reckless," 17 Apr. 2018 Israel’s military defends its response to the protests, saying live fire is necessary to defend its borders from explosive devices, flaming kites, rocks thrown at Israeli forces and attempts to breach the border security fence. Dov Lieber, WSJ, "Six Palestinians Die in Clashes at Gaza-Israel Border," 28 Sep. 2018 Authorities can fine companies up to 4 percent of their annual revenue, or 20 million euros, whichever is higher, for breaching the rules. CBS News, "Facebook announces latest plan to protect user data just ahead of sweeping EU privacy law," 24 May 2018 Israel fears that protest may become a mass attempt to breach the fence separating Gaza from Israel. Bloomberg.com, "Four Palestinians Killed by Israel as Gaza Protests Dwindle," 21 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'breach.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of breach

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1547, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for breach

Noun

Middle English breche "act of breaking, opening in a wall, violation," probably in part continuing Old English brǣc "act of breaking" (derivative from base of brecan "to break"), in part borrowed from Anglo-French & continental Old French breche "break, gap," going back to Old Low Franconian *breka, derivative of *brekan "to break," going back to Germanic *brekan- — more at break entry 1

Verb

derivative of breach entry 1

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Statistics for breach

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for breach

The first known use of breach was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for breach

breach

verb

English Language Learners Definition of breach

: to fail to do what is required by (something, such as a law or agreement) : to break or violate (something)

: to make a hole or opening in (something)

breach

noun
\ˈbrēch \

Kids Definition of breach

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a failure to act in a promised or required way a breach of contract

2 : an opening made by breaking a breach in the dam

breach

verb
breached; breaching

Kids Definition of breach (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to fail to do as promised or required by breach an agreement

2 : to make a break in

breach

noun
\ˈbrēch \

Legal Definition of breach 

1a : a violation in the performance of or a failure to perform an obligation created by a promise, duty, or law without excuse or justification

breach of duty

: a breach of a duty especially by a fiduciary (as an agent or corporate officer) in carrying out the functions of his or her position

breach of trust

: a breach by a trustee of the terms of a trust (as by stealing from or carelessly mishandling the funds)

breach of warranty

: a breach by a seller of the terms of a warranty (as by the failure of the goods to conform to the seller's description or by a defect in title)

Note: A seller may be liable for a breach of warranty even without any negligence or misconduct.

b : failure without excuse or justification to fulfill one's obligations under a contract

called also breach of contract

— compare repudiation
anticipatory breach

: a breach of contract that occurs as a result of a party's anticipatory repudiation of the contract

efficient breach

: breach of contract in economic theory in which it is more profitable for the breaching party to breach the contract and pay damages than to perform under the contract

material breach

: a breach of contract that is so substantial that it defeats the purpose of the parties in making the contract and gives the nonbreaching party the right to cancel the contract and sue for damages — compare substantial performance at performance

Note: Whether a breach is material is a question of fact. Under the Restatement (Second) of Contracts, a material breach gives rise to the right to suspend performance but not to cancel the contract until there is a total breach.

partial breach

: a breach of contract in which the breaching party's nonperformance is minor and gives rise to the right to sue for damages but not to suspend performance or cancel the contract — compare part performance at performance

total breach

: a breach of contract under the Restatement (Second) of Contracts that is so substantial that it gives rise to the right to cancel the contract and sue for damages

2a : a violation or disturbance of something (as a law or condition) find both the State and the minor guilty of gross breaches of the rules of procedureIn re D.L.B., 429 N.E.2d 615 (1981) a breach of security especially : breach of the peace

b : an act of breaking out breach of prison

3 : the condition of having committed a breach of contract used in the phrase in breach a terminating party who is not in breach is entitled to expensesC&S/Sovran Corp. v. First Fed. Sav. Bank of Brunswick, 463 S.E.2d 892 (1995)

Other Words from breach

breach verb
breacher noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on breach

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with breach

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for breach

Spanish Central: Translation of breach

Nglish: Translation of breach for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of breach for Arabic Speakers

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