coffee break


Definition of coffee break

: a short period for rest and refreshments

Examples of coffee break in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Coffee shops have repeatedly been a source of infection during South Korea’s recent surge of COVID-19 cases, speaking to the nation’s attachment to taking a coffee break. Whizy Kim,, "Starbucks Branch Linked To At Least 66 COVID-19 Cases — But Employees Were Spared," 25 Aug. 2020 Floyd’s suffering inflicted by a cop who has the demeanor of a man on coffee break is what enrages, unites, and ultimately focuses those committed to change. Phillip Morris, National Geographic, "To enact change in the world, we must protest," 6 June 2020 Everything from mass transit to office coffee breaks will be looked at as a potential risk — so what's going to happen to them? Elizabeth Elkind, CBS News, "What will post-lockdown life look like? You may say goodbye to hotel keys and the office coffee pot," 29 May 2020 The dissenting justices say that if there are any remaining issues, like the coffee break question, then the case isn’t moot. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Dissenting justices claim Supreme Court was “manipulated” in New York gun case," 27 Apr. 2020 Yet in Bordewich’s telling, Lincoln had little to do with the ambitious measures, as if the bills were signed by autopen during coffee breaks. Andrew Ferguson, The Atlantic, "Abraham Lincoln’s Radical Moderation," 12 Mar. 2020 Aim to set up virtual coffee breaks or social calls just to catch up with your colleagues. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Friday, May 1," 1 May 2020 This led to a suit from the Department of Labor and, eventually, to a 1956 decision by a federal appeals court that enshrined the coffee break in American life. Michael Pollan, The Atlantic, "Capitalism’s Favorite Drug," 6 Apr. 2020 Pollan delves into a Fair Labor Standards Act case from the 1950s in which a company, Los Wigman Weavers, made 15-minute coffee breaks mandatory, but refused to pay workers for the breaks. Washington Post, "“The benefits are clear on the civilization ledger,” he adds. “On the species ledger, it really depends if you see civilization as a plus or minus for the species. It does a lot for us, but it also has an enormous cost.”," 6 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coffee break.' 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 coffee break

1944, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of coffee break was in 1944

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Last Updated

13 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Coffee break.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for coffee break

coffee break


English Language Learners Definition of coffee break

: a short period of time in which you stop working to rest and have coffee or some other refreshment

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