break off

verb
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 But at times, some of the vortex can break off or move south, bringing extremely cold weather down into the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, "'Climate change is real': Biden administration says Texas crisis shows U.S. unprepared for extreme weather," 19 Feb. 2021 The San Antonio Police Officers Association isn’t part of the city’s AFL-CIO chapter, so there’s no formal relationship to break off. Joshua Fechter, San Antonio Express-News, "Ballot initiative to gut San Antonio police union draws opposition from AFL-CIO," 7 Feb. 2021 The lab then amplifies this DNA by adding compatible strands carrying fluorescent markers that break off and activate after binding. Will Knight, Wired, "I Tested Positive for Covid-19. What Does That Really Mean?," 11 Dec. 2020 The little parts and bits and bobs that break off take on different textures, soaking up a bit more oil and becoming extra crispy when fried. Omar Mamoon, SFChronicle.com, "How Quik Dog in S.F. keeps its fries shatteringly crisp — even for delivery," 6 Nov. 2020 Freeze chopped seasonings flat, Boudy advises her groups, and just break off a piece to use. Judy Walker, NOLA.com, "New Orleans food blogger shares 'Recipes My Daddy Never Wrote Down' in her new cookbook," 12 Jan. 2021 Nearly half a million Cloud Island infant rompers and Cat & Jack swimsuits sold by Target have been recalled because their snaps can break off and cause choking and scratching hazards. Nicole Norfleet, Star Tribune, "Target recalls Cloud Island baby clothes, Cat & Jack swimsuits," 6 Jan. 2021 West’s proposal echoed a similar sentiment expressed earlier in the week by Texas state Rep. Kyle Biedermann, R-Fredericksburg, who called for a referendum that would allow voters to decide if Texas should break off from the U.S. Dom Calicchio, Fox News, "Texas GOP Chair Allen West says SCOTUS setback may call for new 'union' of 'law-abiding states'," 13 Dec. 2020 The system can break off and float southbound, right down to the U.S. States as far south as Florida can experience conditions typically reserved for higher, chillier latitudes. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "What Is a Polar Vortex? The Frigid Weather Pattern, Explained," 16 Dec. 2020

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

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Break off.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/break%20off. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for break off

Britannica English: Translation of break off for Arabic Speakers

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