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

Adjective A breakaway faction formed a new party.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Sarkisian’s offensive scheme will likely involve Robinson far more in the running and passing games, and Johnson’s smooth but powerful running compliments Robinson’s breakaway athleticism and agility. Dallas News, "Texas RB outlook for 2021: Can Bijan Robinson top his sensational freshman season?," 12 Feb. 2021 Brad Marchand won it 36 seconds into overtime, tucking a breakaway chance past Rangers keeper Alexandar Giorgiev after blue liner Charlie McAvoy broke up a 2 on 1 with his stick, and sent his buddy the other way. Matt Porter,, "Back from their break, Bruins roll on with overtime win at Rangers," 10 Feb. 2021 Kane tied it 97 seconds later with a breakaway, short-handed goal after forcing a turnover in Anaheim's zone. Joe Reedy, Star Tribune, "Labanc, Donato score in shootout to lift Sharks over Ducks," 6 Feb. 2021 The Badgers entered the game with the third-lowest turnover percentage in the nation, but had seven turnovers alone in the first half, including several that turned into breakaway dunks or layups for the Wolverines. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball destroys Wisconsin, 77-54, to make clear statement on its potential," 13 Jan. 2021 Ten breakaway Republicans were not that many compared with the 197 party members who voted against impeachment. New York Times, "A Preordained Coda to a Presidency," 13 Jan. 2021 The Badgers don’t have that breakaway threat at running back as in years past but could enjoy a significant power advantage up front. Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, "Watchability rankings: Which college football bowl games, including the CFP semifinals, are best bets for excitement," 30 Dec. 2020 Also, the move to have Devin Duvernay returns punts as well as kickoffs was long overdue because the rookie has breakaway ability and that could become a major factor in a close playoff game. Mike Preston,, "Mike Preston: The streaking Ravens have made progress. How much is yet to be determined. | COMMENTARY," 27 Dec. 2020 Opposition Platform - For Life backs constitutional changes granting the breakaway region more autonomy that could counter Ukraine’s goals to integrate with the European Union and NATO -- a move that would probably be career suicide for Zelenskiy. Ilya Arkhipov,, "Putin’s Man in Ukraine Is Making Gains Even as War Grinds On," 23 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Jerome Kersey followed with a breakaway dunk with 1:17 left and the game was tied at 97-97. oregonlive, "Trail Blazers classics: Portland beats San Antonio Spurs to advance to 1990 Western Conference finals for 2nd time in franchise history," 28 Apr. 2020 His breakaway power dunks were a highlight of a season that was short on those. Scott Ostler,, "Warriors were short on wins, but had winning season," 19 Mar. 2020 Johnson opened the second frame with a steal and a breakaway dunk, electrifying a drowsy crowd that had witnessed only six combined points through the first eight minutes. Shelby Dermer,, "Mangold's late free throws lift Lakota East over Beavercreek for district championship," 8 Mar. 2020 Not giving the Chargers a breather, Fern Creek star point guard Jaden Rogers got a steal and a chance for a breakaway dunk. David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "'Flashy guard' Jaden Rogers makes dazzling plays to help Fern Creek capture district title," 29 Feb. 2020 Watchmen’s fantastic seventh episode indulges a breakaway gimmick with its own Garden of Eden imagery. Darren Franich,, "Ten years later, Lost's most tantalizing mysteries are still 'Across the Sea'," 11 May 2020 The breakaway musical success of Billie Eilish is a recent example. Josh Linkner, Detroit Free Press, "You can be like Elon Musk and Billie Eilish, if you do this," 1 Mar. 2020 Restrictions on movement not only could slow the peace process but also could hinder a protest movement that is passionately calling for Ukraine not to give two breakaway regions run by Russian rebels, Luhansk and Donetsk, any legitimacy. NBC News, "Protesters defy lockdown as coronavirus threatens Ukraine-Russia peace push," 21 Feb. 2020 But a steal and breakaway layup by Gabby Williams capped a 16-0 run and UConn led 26-11 after 10 minutes. USA TODAY, "Reserve Azura Stevens leads No. 1 UConn past pesky Tulsa," 18 Jan. 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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Time Traveler for breakaway

Time Traveler

The first known use of breakaway was in 1535

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Statistics for breakaway

Last Updated

21 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Breakaway.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on breakaway

Nglish: Translation of breakaway for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of breakaway for Arabic Speakers

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