deal-break·​er ˈdēl-ˌbrā-kər How to pronounce deal-breaker (audio)
variants or less commonly deal breaker or dealbreaker
plural deal-breakers also deal breakers or dealbreakers
: someone or something that prevents a deal or arrangement from being reached or fulfilled
That's where the other key player, Tomas Kaberle, comes in. He was a deal-breaker a few weeks ago in a potential trade between the Flyers and Toronto, when Quinn would not substitute him for the injured Danny Markov.Tim Panaccio
Pay attention to any signs of a DIY fix or update. This isn't necessarily a deal-breaker, but it's better to know now—when you can ask the seller about it—than after the deal is done.Matt Ellis
: a reason for rejecting someone or something
The display is disappointing but not necessarily a deal-breaker unless your job consists of editing photos and videos.Jason Cipriani
Overall, the biggest dealbreaker was the $290 price tag.Bianca Alba
Any number of women I interviewed cited clinginess in a boyfriend as a major deal breaker.Liza Mundy

Examples of deal-breaker in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some even come with toilets and showers, so that doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. Casey Barber, CNN, 5 July 2024 The additional step, which was not required because Redstone controls the voting shares, had long been a deal-breaker for Ellison, RedBird and KKR. Meg James, Los Angeles Times, 2 July 2024 After the phone interviews, which includes questions about relationship deal-breakers, the casting team moves along to Zoom interviews — sometimes one-on-one and other times, with four or five people — that can last up to 90 minutes. Emily Longeretta, Variety, 14 June 2024 But this is not necessarily a deal-breaker, says Johnson. Will Stone, NPR, 13 June 2024 Attacking Israelis in their own homes and committing many atrocities against them is a deal-breaker. Voice Of The People, New York Daily News, 12 Feb. 2024 Keep in Mind These headphones aren't the most durable and probably won't stand the test of time, but with a price of two pairs for under $30, that may not be a deal-breaker. Shannon Ullman, Verywell Health, 3 June 2024 But as long as Lee doesn’t pull a Kenny Atkinson here, none of that is a deal-breaker. Scott Fowler, Charlotte Observer, 9 May 2024 If this is a deal-breaker for you, check some of the others on this list. Isabella Ubaldi, Verywell Health, 19 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'deal-breaker.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1965, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of deal-breaker was in 1965

Dictionary Entries Near deal-breaker

Cite this Entry

“Deal-breaker.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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