break·​up | \ ˈbrāk-ˌəp How to pronounce breakup (audio) \

Definition of breakup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of breaking up
2 : the breaking, melting, and loosening of ice in the spring

break up

broke up; broken up; breaking up; breaks up

Definition of break up (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to cease to exist as a unified whole : disperse their partnership broke up
b : to end a romance
2 : to lose morale, composure, or resolution especially : to become abandoned to laughter breaks up completely, laughing himself into a coughing fit — Gene Williams

transitive verb

1 : to break into pieces
2 : to bring to an end broke up the fight
3 : to do away with : destroy break up a monopoly
4 : to disrupt the continuity or flow of break up a dull routine
5 : decompose break up a chemical
6 : to cause to laugh heartily

Examples of breakup in a Sentence

Noun Money problems often lead to marital breakups. She's just gone through a bad breakup with her boyfriend. He began drinking heavily following the breakup of his marriage. a couple heading for marital breakup What caused the breakup of the Roman Empire? the breakup of a monopoly the breakup of an asteroid as it hits the Earth's atmosphere Verb the band broke up when their arguments over money grew too stressful the meeting broke up when all the business for the day had been completed See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The breakup, which occurs in the premiere, is a real gut punch — albeit not exactly a surprise, seeing as Michael’s newly single status is the entire premise of the series. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 July 2022 Beyond the new book, Cocker has been active with solo projects in the time since Pulp’s last breakup. Jonathan Cohen, SPIN, 26 July 2022 While not a wholesale breakup, 3M’s spinoff reflects a trend among industrial companies to split their operations to bring more focus., 26 July 2022 So often going over the top for impact, very few moments here are as potent as one long static shot in which the two male leads have a painfully honest breakup conversation. Dennis Harvey, Variety, 22 July 2022 News broke of Booker and Jenner's brief breakup last month after the couple had for two years. Alyssa Bailey, ELLE, 20 July 2022 Fans immediately took it as a response to Rodrigo's breakup ballad, although Bassett had been teasing his single on Instagram since 2019. Sophie Dodd,, 20 July 2022 Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is dropping his bid for a New York congressional seat, announcing his departure from the race and from electoral politics on Twitter in a message that at points sounded like a breakup. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, 19 July 2022 Comedians Chelsea Handler and Jo Koy are breaking new ground in the breakup game with one of the year’s most amicable splits. Nardine Saadstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 19 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The duo have no intentions to ever break up the couple. Zack Sharf, Variety, 28 July 2022 In January a Judge in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia allowed an FTC effort to break up Meta by undoing its purchases of WhatsApp and Instagram to continue. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 27 July 2022 Skadden is a go-to corporate law firm, with ample experience arguing cases in front of the Delaware court, including the attempt by the luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton to break up its $16 billion deal to acquire Tiffany & Company. New York Times, 12 July 2022 After making a pact to break up before college, Clare (Talia Ryder) and Aidan (Alabama’s Jordan Fisher) spend their last evening as a couple on one final epic date. Ben Flanagan |, al, 1 July 2022 In fact, de la Garza double cleanses, first with a balm before soaking a cotton pad in micellar water to break up face and brow makeup. Fiona Embleton, Allure, 14 June 2022 As a child of divorce who saw her own parents break up and make up many times, Burgess praises Green and Fox for their ability to come together to put their kids first. Angela Andaloro,, 16 June 2022 Hill launched a three-run home run in the top of the fifth to break up the tension and put ASU ahead 3-1. Jenna Ortiz, The Arizona Republic, 29 May 2022 Days after workers announced their intent to unionize, Raven management announced plans Jan. 24 to break up the department of quality assurance workers and distribute them to other teams. Suhauna Hussainstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 23 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of breakup


1794, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

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Time Traveler for breakup

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The first known use of breakup was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near breakup

break time


break up

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Last Updated

30 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Breakup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on breakup

Nglish: Translation of breakup for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of breakup for Arabic Speakers


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