noun (1)
break·​er | \ ˈbrā-kər How to pronounce breaker (audio) \

Definition of breaker

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : one that breaks
b : a machine or plant for breaking rocks or coal
c chiefly British : one who breaks up ships or cars for salvage
d : a device for opening a circuit specifically : circuit breaker
2 : a wave breaking into foam (as against the shore)


noun (2)
brea·​ker | \ ˈbrā-kər How to pronounce breaker (audio) \

Definition of breaker (Entry 2 of 2)

: a small water cask

First Known Use of breaker

Noun (1)

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

1833, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for breaker

Noun (2)

by folk etymology from Spanish barrica

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about breaker

Time Traveler for breaker

Time Traveler

The first known use of breaker was in the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for breaker

Cite this Entry

“Breaker.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for breaker


brea·​ker | \ ˈbrā-kər How to pronounce breaker (audio) \

Kids Definition of breaker

1 : a person or thing that breaks something a circuit breaker
2 : a wave that breaks on shore

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on breaker

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for breaker

Nglish: Translation of breaker for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about breaker

Comments on breaker

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


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!