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 That proposition would meet with fierce resistance from labor unions, which also oppose the breakup plan. Washington Post, "Why Eskom’s Power Crisis Is South Africa’s Top Risk," 18 Sep. 2019 Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's breakup was one of the most talked-about celebrity news stories of the summer. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Liam Hemsworth Was Reportedly 'Blindsided' by Miley Cyrus' First Statement About Their Split," 16 Sep. 2019 Mykael Wright had three tackles with an interception and pass breakup. oregonlive, "Oregon Ducks cruise past Montana as injuries mount: Game at a glance," 15 Sep. 2019 After an acrimonious breakup, Mr. Zaremski created a fake Instagram account under the woman’s name and posted pictures of her wearing Nazi apparel, Mr. Mueller said. Michael Gold, New York Times, "Man With White Supremacist Material and Weapons Is Arrested, Police Say," 12 Sep. 2019 Then Brown’s breakup with the Raiders came after a spat with general manager Mike Mayock. Henry Mckenna, For The Win, "Tedy Bruschi lashes out at those comparing 'selfish' Antonio Brown to Randy Moss," 8 Sep. 2019 Free safety Tarvarius Moore had a huge fourth-quarter pass breakup on 4th-and-goal. Eric Branch,, "49ers’ game grades," 8 Sep. 2019 Only after an unfortunate breakup did these claims appear - claims that the misdemeanor hearing today revealed were backed by no photographs or objective medical facts. Michael Mccann,, "Could Rodions Kurucs' Arrest Lead to Immigration Implications for Nets Forward?," 4 Sep. 2019 Every collision, breakup or fragmentation creates additional debris. Deanna Paul, Anchorage Daily News, "Space: The final legal frontier," 1 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But foreign gatecrashers may be wary of breaking up an all-French deal. Chris Hughes | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Capgemini’s $4 Billion French Deal Is Too Cheap," 14 Nov. 2019 Goo Goo Dolls fans haven't had to read about the band breaking up or had to watch a member spin-off on a solo career. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "Goo Goo Dolls 'slide' into nostalgia with fans at Louisville Palace," 13 Nov. 2019 The upcoming live-action Birds of Prey movie will show Margot Robbie’s Harley bonding with other female characters after breaking up with the Joker. Christian Holub,, "Harley Quinn explores a post-Joker career in new trailer for animated DC Universe series," 12 Nov. 2019 The band -- which consists of brothers Chris and Rich Robinson -- went on to release seven more full-length albums before breaking up in 2013 due to disagreements about band ownership. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, "The Black Crowes bringing 2020 reunion tour to Northeast Ohio," 11 Nov. 2019 Plus, Nick Jonas reveals which Jonas Brothers song is his favorite to perform on the Happiness Begins tour Fans of the Jonas Brothers don’t have to worry about the band breaking up again anytime soon. Kaitlyn Frey,, "Nick Jonas Says Jonas Brothers Will Continue to Make New Music: Break Up 'Not in Our Vocabulary'," 7 Nov. 2019 In the poll, large majorities were supportive of ambitious liberal policy goals, like breaking up big banks, increasing Social Security benefits and implementing single-payer health care., "Iowa poll shows tight race among top tier of Democrats - The Boston Globe," 2 Nov. 2019 European economic strategists say the 72-year-old Italian, credited with preventing the euro zone from breaking up, will be missed. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "Why Mario Draghi will be missed," 24 Oct. 2019 Hence a variety of actions aimed at breaking up or reining in big firms and better equipping workers. The Economist, "Elizabeth Warren’s many plans would reshape American capitalism," 24 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for breakup

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for breakup

Last Updated

26 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Breakup.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for breakup


How to pronounce break up (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for breakup

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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