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 Baylor’s star corner collected 45 total tackles, two tackles for loss and had five pass breakups in 2019. Destine Gibson, Dallas News, "Baylor roster rankings, Nos. 10-6: Why an incoming graduate transfer will be an immediate-impact player," 20 May 2020 The couple has already discussed their life in quarantine, their previous breakup, and Baldwins's feelings about being compared to other women. Stacey Leasca, Glamour, "Justin Bieber Would Save Himself For Marriage If He Could 'Go Back'," 16 May 2020 At the time, the rapper’s alleged infidelity was said to have led to their breakup. Eric Todisco,, "Future Honored Six Women, Including Ex Ciara, He Has Children with Through Mother's Day Tweets," 12 May 2020 Their most recent breakup occurred in January 2019, with a reconciliation seemingly happening at the end of that year. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Zayn Malik Reportedly “Couldn’t Be More Thrilled” To Be Having a Baby With Gigi Hadid," 4 May 2020 In his career, Costin played in 50 games, recording 178 tackles, 16.5 sacks, 32.5 tackles for loss, 12 pass breakups and three forced fumbles. Dave Clark,, "Miami RedHawks defensive tackle Doug Costin signs with Jacksonville Jaguars," 26 Apr. 2020 In addition to the interception, Giamarusti had two pass breakups, made six tackles, caught five passes for 79 yards and carried four times for 55 yards against the Shamrocks (2-3, 1-0 CCL/ESCC Purple). Dan Shalin,, "Dynamic Don: Notre Dame’s Nick Giamarusti thriving as two-way contributor," 30 Sep. 2019 Finished his college career with 10 interceptions, 36 pass breakups, six forced fumbles and also returned six punts for touchdowns. Arizona Republic, "Cardinals struck gold in round one, but have long wait until they draft again on Friday," 24 Apr. 2020 In episode two, Kendall Jenner speculated that Kourtney's breakup with ex Scott Disick might have been more damaging than the sisters realized. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "Kendall Jenner Said Kourtney Kardashian’s Split From Scott Disick "Mentally F**ked Her"," 3 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Schneider departed the group in 2008, which effectively broke up the band. Los Angeles Times, "Florian Schneider, co-founder of electronic pioneers Kraftwerk, dies at 73," 6 May 2020 The machine includes a hand crank that breaks up any toppings for custom homemade treats that taste gourmet. Christie Calucchia, Southern Living, "The Best Ice Cream Makers for Homemade Frozen Treats," 5 May 2020 For those who are stuck at home, there is little to break up the monotony of the tasks of daily life—working, cooking, cleaning, and interacting with the same people every day. Ahmed Ali Akbar, SELF, "Here's How to Stay Centered and Healthy During a Shelter-in-Place Ramadan," 30 Apr. 2020 The notion that little man broke up the Bulls is asinine and absurd. Mark Heim |, al, "Charles Barkley talks Jordan, Isiah Thomas wrong, fighting Bill Laimbeer, Skip Bayless the idiot," 29 Apr. 2020 In the 2-0 win over Kansas City, Higuera struck out nine and issued two walks, but Ross Jones hit a two-out triple in the eighth to break up the no-no. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "50 in 50: Juan Nieves records the Brewers' only no-hitter," 28 Apr. 2020 Bailouts and backstops, Steele says, need to be paired with—at a minimum—requirements to break up these larger entities into smaller, less risky companies, with more reporting and higher capital requirements. Robin Kaiser-schatzlein, The New Republic, "The “Shadow Banks” Are Back, and Still Too Big to Fail," 27 Apr. 2020 Your family unit might be the source of refreshing ideas and novel undertakings that will break up any monotony. oregonlive, "Horoscope for April 23, 2020: Happy birthday Valerie Bertinelli; Leo, you’re restless for change," 23 Apr. 2020 In the Atlantic, for instance, El Ninos can cause severe wind shear that can break up developing storms with the potential to become dangerous hurricanes. Brian K. Sullivan / Bloomberg, Time, "World's Oceans Now Warmest on Record, Increasing Risk of Hurricanes, Wildfires," 20 Apr. 2020

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

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Breakup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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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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