break off

broke off; broken off; breaking off; breaks off

Definition of break off

intransitive verb

1 : to stop abruptly break off in the middle of a sentence
2 : to become detached branches that broke off in the storm
3 : to end a relationship broke off with his business partner

transitive verb

1 : discontinue break off diplomatic relations
2 : to remove by or as if by breaking broke off a chunk of bread

Examples of break off in a Sentence

the judge broke off court proceedings until after lunch talks between the two sides broke off when one began making unreasonable demands
Recent Examples on the Web Khachapuri experts know to break off the ends for swabbing in the rich, oozing filling. Jen Rose Smith, CNN, 4 May 2022 Before the end of the 2020s, this module and others subsequently launched by Axiom would break off and become an independent, private space station. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 8 Apr. 2022 The handle of the stainless steel cups can break off and is small enough for a child to choke on, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News, 17 Feb. 2022 Meantime, California won’t break off and drift to sea simply because someone younger, louder and more belligerent isn’t holding one of its two Senate seats. Mark Z. Barabakcolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 28 Mar. 2022 So my argument is: the strategically wise strategy for Ukraine is to break off its close relations with the West, especially with the United States, and try to accommodate the Russians. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 1 Mar. 2022 But occasionally, some of the vortex can break off or move south, funneling unspeakably cold temperatures down south into the U.S., Europe and Asia. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, 27 Jan. 2022 In a letter to the Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell, Ms. Warren asked the Fed to force the financial giant to break off its core banking activities, like offering checking and savings accounts and loans, from its other financial services. Bill Hardekopf, Forbes, 17 Sep. 2021 Penny ran with conviction and vision and was able to use his speed to break off big plays. Tim Booth, ajc, 20 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of break off

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for break off

Time Traveler

The first known use of break off was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near break off

break of day

break off

break of forecastle

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Statistics for break off

Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Break off.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on break off

Britannica English: Translation of break off for Arabic Speakers


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