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

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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 Trees were uprooted or broken off, and flying particles of sand and rock had stripped them of their bark. Jason M. Forthofer, Scientific American, "Can Scientists Predict Fire Tornadoes?," 20 Nov. 2019 Running back Gus Edwards led the team in rushing with a season-high 112 yards, breaking off a 63-yard touchdown run late in Sunday’s win. Daniel Oyefusi,, "Ravens vs. Rams scouting report for Week 12: Who has the edge?," 20 Nov. 2019 Margaret found love again with a young companion, Roddy Llewellyn, but private photos of the two on vacation caused a scandal in the press, and Roddy apparently briefly broke off the relationship after the first year. Katherine J Igoe, Marie Claire, "Did Princess Margaret Make a Non-Fatal Suicide Attempt, as Depicted on 'The Crown'?," 17 Nov. 2019 Drake got the football on the first snap of Thursday night's game and broke off a 36-yard run. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Kenyan Drake shines in debut with Arizona Cardinals," 1 Nov. 2019 In both games, Taylor had a touchdown run and broke off a 20-yard-plus run., "“Yeah, he’s very fast. Yeah,” Belichick said. “He’s had great production.”," 1 Nov. 2019 Whitmer had talks with the company about allowing the company to proceed with the tunnel, but the talks broke off after Enbridge would not commit to completing the project as quickly as Whitmer deemed necessary. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Court: State law that allows Line 5 tunnel construction is constitutional," 31 Oct. 2019 Before being romantically linked to Halsey, Evan had been dating AHS costar Emma Roberts for seven years, but the pair broke off their engagement earlier this year. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "Halsey and Evan Peters Made Their Red Carpet Debut," 27 Oct. 2019 An expert monitoring a fast-moving glacier on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc massif says a small section has picked up speed and could break off in the coming days. Washington Post, "Small piece of melting Italian glacier accelerates," 30 Sep. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for break off

Last Updated

28 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Break off.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 December 2019.

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More from Merriam-Webster on break off

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for break off

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with break off

Britannica English: Translation of break off for Arabic Speakers

Comments on break off

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


to state or do over again or repeatedly

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