breach

noun
\ ˈbrēch How to pronounce breach (audio) \

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

With more than 20 hours of shark-centric programming airing throughout the week, Discovery fans can sink their teeth into plenty of great white breaches, Australian accents, and underwater cage footage. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Shark Week 2019 Premieres Next Month: Here's Everything You Need to Know," 15 June 2019 The Register and Vice reported finding scores of traveler data on the dark web in the hours after that breach, including financial information, photos and location information. Sidney Fussell, The Atlantic, "The CBP Breach Was Inevitable," 11 June 2019 And some of that cost could be from intangibles related to the breach, such as a loss of trust in the organization. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Baltimore’s bill for ransomware: Over $18 million, so far," 5 June 2019 Citrix did not disclose specifics about what data was stolen in the breaches, or for how long hackers were able to infiltrate its systems. Ron Hurtibise, sun-sentinel.com, "Citrix hack exposed employees to ID theft and fraud, lawsuit says," 4 June 2019 Well aware of the potential of cyberthreats and security breaches, the system is said to include protective features at the hardware and software levels. Andrew Wendler, Car and Driver, "General Motors Is Getting Tesla-Style Over-the-Air Updates Thanks to New, Way Faster Electrical Architecture," 21 May 2019 In its note, Google made sure to recognize there hasn't been a breach of the broader Nest user-base, which stretches into the tens of millions, per the company's own numbers. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Google Warns Nest Users to Update Security Settings After Uptick of Hacked Cameras," 6 Feb. 2019 Target, Yahoo, and Equifax have all suffered major data breaches, and now, Marriott/Starwood faces the same problem. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Marriott Data Breach: What to Do If You've Been Affected," 30 Nov. 2018 The first breach, reported over the weekend, didn’t cause coal ash to leave the facility, Mr. Cheatham said. Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "Florence Pushes Some North Carolina Dams to the Brink," 17 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The subcontractor’s network was then attacked and breached. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "CBP: Travelers’ photos obtained in massive data breach," 10 June 2019 The subcontractor's network was then attacked and breached. oregonlive.com, "‘Malicious cyberattack’ steals travelers’ photos from Customs and Border Protection," 10 June 2019 Acting City Attorney Alain Boileau said Monday that if the low bid drops to $142.5 million, the city would have a hard time getting its money back, and may have to breach contracts to withdraw from participation. Brittany Wallman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Wave streetcar system not yet dead as low bidder works to drop price," 30 Apr. 2018 The suit contains previously undisclosed details, including that the specific date when the Russians breached the DNC computer system: July 27, 2015, according to forensic evidence cited in the filing. Tom Hamburger, BostonGlobe.com, "Democratic Party sues Russia, Trump campaign, and Wikileaks, claiming conspiracy in 2016 election," 21 Apr. 2018 The suit contains previously undisclosed details, including that the specific date when the Russians breached the DNC computer system: July 27, 2015, according to forensic evidence cited in the filing. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Democratic party sues Russia, Trump campaign, allege conspiracy to influence election," 20 Apr. 2018 The suit contains previously undisclosed details, including that the specific date when the Russians breached the DNC computer system: July 27, 2015, according to forensic evidence cited in the filing. The Washington Post, OregonLive.com, "Democratic party files lawsuit against Russia, Trump campaign, alleging conspiracy to influence the election," 20 Apr. 2018 Hacking a connected device at 35,000 feet wouldn't be easy as breaching an airline's website, but the vulnerability of networked cameras in general remains. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Two Major Airlines Admit to Undisclosed Cameras in Aircraft Entertainment Systems," 22 Feb. 2019 The following year, Breedlove returned with authority—and the engine from an F-4 Phantom—and breached 600mph. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Bloodhound SSC: How do you build a car capable of 1,000mph?," 24 Nov. 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

19 Jun 2019

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 How to pronounce breach (audio) \

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 How to pronounce breach (audio) \

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

Comments on breach

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