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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fitting, considering how scary picking up the pieces after a breakup can be. Leah Greenblatt,, 4 Apr. 2022 The move comes days after Mendes spoke candidly about how hard their breakup has been on him. ELLE, 24 Mar. 2022 But the breakup of the political romance between Trump and Brooks will perhaps be the headline for Alabama’s 2022 Senate race. Paul Gattis |, al, 24 Mar. 2022 The breakup was a traumatic process and the humming definitely started to be more persistent over the last couple of years. Amy Dickinson,, 4 Mar. 2022 The breakup was a traumatic process and the humming definitely started to be more persistent over the last couple of years. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 4 Mar. 2022 The breakup was a traumatic process, and the humming definitely started to be more persistent over the past couple of years. Washington Post, 4 Mar. 2022 The breakup was a traumatic process and the humming definitely started to be more persistent over the last couple of years. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 4 Mar. 2022 Friends say the breakup was amicable and the couple eventually fell out of touch. CBS News, 12 Feb. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There is privilege in being able to break up with code-switching because not all organizations have done the work to create environments that foster safety. Madison Butler, Rolling Stone, 9 Aug. 2022 Before the shooting, the girl’s family staged an intervention and prevailed on her to break up with Giampa. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, 22 July 2022 News helicopter footage over the park showed the welcome gate lights were off by 9 p.m. Social media video showed park security tackling groups of young people to break up a fight. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, 17 July 2022 On the Netflix reality show, Ballatori and Kissinger were tasked with deciding whether to break up or get engaged after living with six other couples facing the same dilemma on the 10-episode series. Georgia Slater,, 9 May 2022 The duo have no intentions to ever break up the couple. Zack Sharf, Variety, 28 July 2022 In January a Judge in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia allowed an FTC effort to break up Meta by undoing its purchases of WhatsApp and Instagram to continue. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 27 July 2022 Skadden is a go-to corporate law firm, with ample experience arguing cases in front of the Delaware court, including the attempt by the luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton to break up its $16 billion deal to acquire Tiffany & Company. New York Times, 12 July 2022 After making a pact to break up before college, Clare (Talia Ryder) and Aidan (Alabama’s Jordan Fisher) spend their last evening as a couple on one final epic date. Ben Flanagan |, al, 1 July 2022 See More

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.

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

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Dictionary Entries Near breakup

break time


break up

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Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Breakup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on breakup

Nglish: Translation of breakup for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of breakup for Arabic Speakers


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