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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Yet a breakup would also be complex, requiring potentially years of engineering work on top of legal wrangling. Jeff Horwitz, WSJ, 10 Dec. 2020 Though the court battle is likely to play out over a period of years, a breakup of the company is on the cards. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 10 Dec. 2020 The painful breakup is a memory with positive vibes ahead. Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, 7 Dec. 2020 First, the breakup is likely to result in higher prices. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, 21 Oct. 2020 Of course, the breakup was hard enough to take, but then fans noticed that Jacob was taking Kaia to a very familiar spot. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, 9 Sep. 2020 Despite the Paltrow-Martin anomaly, a breakup is seldom a simple, polite process. Raven Smith, Vogue, 31 Aug. 2020 Until their breakup in 2001, the couple was all over the tabloids, red carpets, and even TRL. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 27 May 2021 In mid-April 2021, Jennifer Lopez and Rodriguez announced their breakup with a joint statement after getting engaged in March 2019 following two years of dating. Lindsay Kimble,, 26 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Tree and shrubs in this zone should be limited to small clusters of a few each to break up the continuity of the vegetation across the landscape. Jordan Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 June 2021 Their girlfriends tried stepping in to break up the fight, but Fulkerson pushed the women to the ground. William Thornton |, al, 11 June 2021 To break up the cookies, use a knife, a rolling pin, or your hands., 8 June 2021 Highs next week flirt with 90F, a few garden- variety thundershowers bubbling each day to break up the muggy monotony. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, 3 June 2021 To break up our never-ending days, many of us got pandemic puppies. cleveland, 2 June 2021 After righty Bryan Garcia gave up a two-out RBI single to Torres in the eighth, Michael Fulmer took over for the final four outs, allowing one of Garcia's runners to score in the eighth to break up the shutout. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 30 May 2021 In Lucifer's midseason finale, the eternally God (Dennis Haysbert) descended from Heaven to break up the familial squabble between Lucifer (Tom Ellis), Amenadiel (DB Woodside), and their manipulative brother Michael (also Ellis). Ew Staff,, 28 May 2021 Now that just seems like the narrative spinning its wheels until the families could break up. Roxana Hadadi, Vulture, 24 May 2021

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.

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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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Statistics for breakup

Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Breakup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for breakup



English Language Learners Definition of breakup

: the end of a relationship, marriage, etc.
: the separation of something into smaller parts or pieces


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