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 Russia won the gold, its first since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, 27 July 2021 But, if his angsty exit footage is any indication, this breakup might be more dramatic than sad. Lydia Wang,, 20 July 2021 The breakup was pretty public for the former couple who met in 2011. Lisa Respers France, CNN, 14 July 2021 Evans had been living with Thompson since the breakup. Briana Rice, The Enquirer, 6 May 2021 But Morrissey has been extremely active since the breakup of the Smiths in 1987, releasing 13 solo albums and touring heavily. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 20 Apr. 2021 It’s the first time Russia topped both medals tables since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Los Angeles Times, 23 Feb. 2021 Lukashenko has ruled there since the breakup of the Soviet Union. USA Today, 8 Sep. 2020 The long breakup between Roger Penske and Brad Keselowski was finalized Thursday when Austin Cindric was named driver of the flagship No. 2, replacing the driver who won Team Penske its first Cup championship., 16 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The messages showed Gonsor encouraging the boy to isolate himself from his family and the other boy and break up with girlfriends. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, 29 July 2021 But its vast size and impact also creates a challenge for regulators who want to rein in or break up the company without harming the consumers and businesses that rely on it. Clare Duffy, CNN, 28 July 2021 Whisk the stock to combine the lime juice and to break up any solidified coconut milk. Rebecca White, Dallas News, 27 July 2021 So would the eight remaining members then try to make a go of it by adding new schools, or will the Big 12 break up completely as the schools look to join other conferences? Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, 26 July 2021 Hacking groups frequently collaborate, break up, shut down, rebrand and regroup. Dan Patterson, CBS News, 22 July 2021 Many joined Democrats in confirming progressive Lina Khan to the FTC despite her desire to rewrite antitrust law and break up big business. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 22 July 2021 The result is a wave of litigation against Silicon Valley giants that aims to chip away at—or even break up—their online empires. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 15 July 2021 Pictures can illustrate ideas and break up long articles. Steve Strauss, USA TODAY, 8 July 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near breakup

break time


break up

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Statistics for breakup

Last Updated

30 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Breakup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for breakup



English Language Learners Definition of breakup

: the end of a relationship, marriage, etc.
: the separation of something into smaller parts or pieces

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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