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


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


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

But Jordyn is not to be blamed for the breakup of my family. Tess Garcia, Teen Vogue, "Khloé Kardashian Says She Doesn't Watch "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" Episodes About Jordyn/Tristan Cheating Scandal," 30 June 2019 Facebook co-founder and former spokesman Chris Hughes has called for the breakup of the social media giant. Washington Post, "Stocks finish best June in decades, capping strong first half to 2019," 29 June 2019 But Jordyn is not to be blamed for the breakup of my family. Rachel Desantis,, "Khloé Kardashian Turns 35: Looking Back at Her Challenging Year, from Motherhood to Heartbreak," 27 June 2019 While Camila hasn't officially confirmed her breakup with Matthew, fans think that this caption is about him, and fans sending him hate following the news. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Camila Cabello Asks Fans to Stop Adding "More Pain to Pain" Following Her Reported Breakup with Matthew Hussey," 27 June 2019 If not for a surge in the shares in recent days on expectations for a breakup of the company, the premium would be even bigger. Dana Cimilluca, WSJ, "AbbVie Strikes Deal to Acquire Allergan for About $63 Billion," 25 June 2019 Last month, a co-founder of Facebook wrote a New York Times op-ed calling for a breakup of the tech giant, which CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said would make its effort to resolve privacy issues more difficult. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "Would you trust Facebook with your money? What Libra cryptocurrency means for users," 18 June 2019 Facebook, which has been accused of mishandling personal data, would be the most obvious candidate for a breakup because its empire was built through the acquisitions of different platforms: Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus. Matt Egan, CNN, "Big Tech was the heart of the bull market. Now it's under fire," 4 June 2019 As tends to be the case with unanticipated breakups, students and faculty acknowledge that, in retrospect, there were obvious signs that a demise was long in the making. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "The End of an American College," 18 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Fluff the couscous with a fork, breaking up any large clumps, then stir in the herb paste until thoroughly combined. Christopher Kimball,, "Recipes: Three new ways to love grains," 9 July 2019 Disneyland security arrives shortly after and breaks up the fight, the video shows. Hannah Fry,, "Video shows violent family fight at Disneyland as stunned parkgoers try to intervene," 8 July 2019 As the crowd broke up Sunday night, a few hundred remained and taunted police who had retreated behind huge barriers set up outside the railway station, while others moved to Canton Road, a street lined with luxury boutique stores. Washington Post, "Tens of thousands in Hong Kong take message to mainlanders," 8 July 2019 Business filings show Klemm created Flipping Exes LLC in 2015 after her break up with LeSure. Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star, "The 'Flipping Exes' baggage Bravo's not talking about: Bankruptcy, lawsuits, late taxes," 8 July 2019 July and August are when all these old bodies start warming up and breaking up all those little things that are going on. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Giants head into All-Star break on a roll after Samardzija, Longoria key narrow win," 7 July 2019 Surely, a midfield anchor should be just that, a man who sits deep and breaks up players., "Rodri: Statistically the Perfect Midfielder for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City," 4 July 2019 Jancy fans rejoiced when Nancy broke up with Steve in Season 2 and embarked on a road trip with Jonathan. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Happened in Season 2 of Stranger Things?," 3 July 2019 On Monday, critics blamed police for not acting more quickly to break up the attacks., "Bloody clashes in downtown Portland put police, mayor on defensive," 1 July 2019

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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Statistics for breakup

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for breakup

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on breakup

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with breakup

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for breakup

Spanish Central: Translation of breakup

Nglish: Translation of breakup for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of breakup for Arabic Speakers

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