break·​away | \ ˈbrā-kə-ˌwā How to pronounce breakaway (audio) \

Definition of breakaway

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : one that breaks away
b : a departure from or rejection of something (such as a group or tradition)
2a : a play (as in hockey) in which an offensive player breaks free of the defenders and rushes toward the goal
b : a sudden acceleration by one or more bicyclists pulling away from the pack in a race
3 : an object made to shatter or collapse under pressure or impact



Definition of breakaway (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : favoring independence from an affiliation : seceding a breakaway faction formed a new party
2 : made to break, shatter, or bend easily breakaway road signs for highway safety
3a : of, relating to, or resulting from a breakaway a breakaway goal
b : allowing or having an ability to execute a breakaway breakaway speed

break away

broke away; broken away; breaking away; breaks away

Definition of break away (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to detach oneself especially from a group : get away
2 : to depart from former or accustomed ways
3 : to pull away with a burst of speed

Examples of breakaway in a Sentence


A breakaway faction formed a new party.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

With just under two minutes left in the frame, MacKinnon got in on the scoring, converting a half-ice breakaway for his second goal of the 2018 playoffs. Michael Blinn,, "Stanley Cup Playoffs Roundup: Avalanche Use Quick Start to Topple Predators in Game 3 Win," 17 Apr. 2018 Darren Helm was unable to convert a clean breakaway early in the second, and Martin Frk had an open net on a third-period rebound, but the puck went wide. USA TODAY, "Red Wings beat Sharks 2-1 in shootout," 31 Jan. 2018 These include another referendum to revoke the exit altogether, a general election or a sudden breakaway from the EU. ... Jason Douglas, WSJ, "May’s Brexit Deal Is Rejected for a Third Time by Lawmakers," 29 Mar. 2019 On her return to the U.S. in 1910, Paul formed a breakaway group... Joanna Scutts, WSJ, "‘Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait?’ Review: Suffragettes Storming the Ballot," 15 Mar. 2019 Defenseman Tony DeAngelo had his pass intercepted by Kapanen, who skated in on a breakaway and scored his 16th of the season at 10:35. Simmi Buttar, The Seattle Times, "Georgiev’s 55 saves help Rangers cool off Leafs 4-1," 10 Feb. 2019 Felder, the other breakaway who didn’t rejoin the Democrats in April, also survived his first primary challenge against Blake Morris. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The primary defeat of New York’s “independent Democrats,” explained," 14 Sep. 2018 Elis, on a one-on-one breakaway, cut back to evade defender Johan Kappelhof and ripped a right-footer from the center of the box into the back of the net to give the Dynamo (4-3-3) a 3-2 lead in the 74th minute. Chronicle News Services, Houston Chronicle, "Albert Elis scores twice to give Dynamo first road win," 21 May 2018 But the idea of a new competition or breakaway by Europe’s mega-rich clubs? Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Soccer’s Super League Threat Isn’t Going Away," 12 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Crews will be replacing breakaway cables in the median of the freeway., "Portland metro Tuesday traffic: County offers info meetings on upcoming 11-week Cornelius Pass Rd closure," 4 June 2019 Bates-Diop got going with a breakaway bucket and a couple of 3-pointers before halftime. Bill Landis,, "Ohio State basketball: What Chris Holtmann said about being ranked, recruiting on his radio show," 16 Jan. 2018 His assignments under his new alias included multiple trips to Ukraine and the nearby breakaway region of Transnistria, according to Bellingcat. Ann M. Simmons, WSJ, "Second U.K. Spy-Poisoning Suspect Identified as Russian Military Doctor," 9 Oct. 2018 Russian-Georgian relations have improved since the war, but the issue of the breakaway regions remains, preventing the full normalization of ties. Vladimir Isachenkov, Fox News, "Russia warns of 'horrible' conflict if Georgia joins NATO," 7 Aug. 2018 Turkey, however, insists the exploration infringes on its rights and the rights of breakaway Turkish Cypriots to east Mediterranean hydrocarbon reserves. Menelaos Hadjicostis, The Seattle Times, "Israel: ‘Much safer’ Mediterranean with Cyprus teamwork," 12 Feb. 2019 Williams then gave the Wildcats the lead for good on the final shot of the half, a breakaway layup to put the score at 29-28. Eric Trent, The Seattle Times, "Woodinville captures first Wes-King girls title by sprinting past Glacier Peak," 18 Feb. 2019 Just as Leicester pressed for an equalizer, Son Heung-min scored a breakaway goal in the first minute of stoppage time. Rob Harris, The Seattle Times, "Aguero, City humiliate Chelsea — and referee joins in japes," 10 Feb. 2019 Her breakaway speed in the midfield made her a dangerous presence on offense and defense., "2017-18 Field Hockey All-Scholastics," 7 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'breakaway.' 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 breakaway


1881, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1927, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1535, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for breakaway

Last Updated

10 May 2019

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Time Traveler for breakaway

The first known use of breakaway was in 1535

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More Definitions for breakaway



English Language Learners Definition of breakaway

: having become separate from a larger group, country, etc. : having broken away

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More from Merriam-Webster on breakaway

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with breakaway

Nglish: Translation of breakaway for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of breakaway for Arabic Speakers

Comments on breakaway

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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