break·​away | \ ˈbrā-kə-ˌwā How to pronounce breakaway (audio) \

Definition of breakaway

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : one that breaks away
b : a departure from or rejection of something (such as a group or tradition)
2a : a play (as in hockey) in which an offensive player breaks free of the defenders and rushes toward the goal
b : a sudden acceleration by one or more bicyclists pulling away from the pack in a race
3 : an object made to shatter or collapse under pressure or impact



Definition of breakaway (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : favoring independence from an affiliation : seceding a breakaway faction formed a new party
2 : made to break, shatter, or bend easily breakaway road signs for highway safety
3a : of, relating to, or resulting from a breakaway a breakaway goal
b : allowing or having an ability to execute a breakaway breakaway speed

break away

broke away; broken away; breaking away; breaks away

Definition of break away (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to detach oneself especially from a group : get away
2 : to depart from former or accustomed ways
3 : to pull away with a burst of speed

Examples of breakaway in a Sentence

Adjective A breakaway faction formed a new party.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Scott has long talked about a desire to be a more complete player, whether that’s improving his breakaway speed, or learning how to catch the ball. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, "IU football: Stevie Scott helps in pass protection, too," 19 Nov. 2020 Turkish-Cypriot authorities now want to redevelop it to win implicit international acceptance of the breakaway state’s control. Selcan Hacaoglu,, "Turkey’s Erdogan Plans to Attend ‘Picnic’ in Cyprus Flash-Point," 26 Oct. 2020 Denis Gurianov, Kucherov took advantage of a brutal turnover by 21-year-old budding star Miro Heiskanen and scored on a breakaway of his own. Stephen Whyno,, "Tampa Bay star Steven Stamkos scores in return before leaving in 5-2 victory over Dallas in Game 3," 24 Sep. 2020 Michigan also has speed and athleticism across its skill positions, with breakaway speed at running back and wide receiver. Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, "For generations, Michigan has piled pain on IU football. With Hoosiers actually ranked higher, there's hope.," 5 Nov. 2020 Malzahn described Bigsby as a hard runner with breakaway speed and the ability to break tackles. Giana Han, al, "LSU understands the threat of Tank Bigsby," 28 Oct. 2020 Nico Lodeiro had the Sounders' other best scoring chance in 77th minute after Diego Chara misjudged a ball and Jordan Morris raced upfield with the ball on a breakaway. oregonlive, "Portland Timbers blow another lead, fail to overtake Seattle Sounders in standings," 22 Oct. 2020 In fact, Byrd rushed for a game-high 139 yards in the 2019 New Mexico Bowl and can be a game-changer with his breakaway speed. Kirk Kenney, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Aztecs 5 Things to Watch," 17 Oct. 2020 Proposals, ranging from stronger relations with Taiwan—which Beijing considers to be a breakaway province—to halting the global advance of Chinese telecommunications companies, saw little meaningful action. Bob Davis, WSJ, "U.S.’s China Hawks Drive Hard-Line Policies After Trump Turns on Beijing," 16 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Jerome Kersey followed with a breakaway dunk with 1:17 left and the game was tied at 97-97. oregonlive, "Trail Blazers classics: Portland beats San Antonio Spurs to advance to 1990 Western Conference finals for 2nd time in franchise history," 28 Apr. 2020 His breakaway power dunks were a highlight of a season that was short on those. Scott Ostler,, "Warriors were short on wins, but had winning season," 19 Mar. 2020 Johnson opened the second frame with a steal and a breakaway dunk, electrifying a drowsy crowd that had witnessed only six combined points through the first eight minutes. Shelby Dermer,, "Mangold's late free throws lift Lakota East over Beavercreek for district championship," 8 Mar. 2020 Not giving the Chargers a breather, Fern Creek star point guard Jaden Rogers got a steal and a chance for a breakaway dunk. David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "'Flashy guard' Jaden Rogers makes dazzling plays to help Fern Creek capture district title," 29 Feb. 2020 Watchmen’s fantastic seventh episode indulges a breakaway gimmick with its own Garden of Eden imagery. Darren Franich,, "Ten years later, Lost's most tantalizing mysteries are still 'Across the Sea'," 11 May 2020 The breakaway musical success of Billie Eilish is a recent example. Josh Linkner, Detroit Free Press, "You can be like Elon Musk and Billie Eilish, if you do this," 1 Mar. 2020 Restrictions on movement not only could slow the peace process but also could hinder a protest movement that is passionately calling for Ukraine not to give two breakaway regions run by Russian rebels, Luhansk and Donetsk, any legitimacy. NBC News, "Protesters defy lockdown as coronavirus threatens Ukraine-Russia peace push," 21 Feb. 2020 But a steal and breakaway layup by Gabby Williams capped a 16-0 run and UConn led 26-11 after 10 minutes. USA TODAY, "Reserve Azura Stevens leads No. 1 UConn past pesky Tulsa," 18 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'breakaway.' 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 breakaway


1881, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1927, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for breakaway

Time Traveler

The first known use of breakaway was in 1535

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Statistics for breakaway

Last Updated

23 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Breakaway.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for breakaway



English Language Learners Definition of breakaway

: having become separate from a larger group, country, etc. : having broken away

More from Merriam-Webster on breakaway

Nglish: Translation of breakaway for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of breakaway for Arabic Speakers

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