Thesaurus

break

verb

Synonyms & Antonyms of break

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 to cause to separate into pieces usually suddenly or forcibly
  • hated telling her that I had broken her favorite glass vase

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3 to bring to a lower grade or rank
  • the captain was broken to lieutenant commander for disobeying a direct order from his group commander

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4 to change (as a secret message) from code into ordinary language
  • Alan Turing and the Bletchley Park mathematicians broke the Enigma code being used by the Nazis

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5 to come to a temporary halt in one's activity
  • she broke from her ruminations to find that it was already dinnertime

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6 to cut into and turn over the sod of (a piece of land) using a bladed implement
  • farmers once broke fields with horse-drawn plows

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7 to fail to keep
  • had to confess that he had broken his promise not to share their conversation with anyone

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8 to find an answer for through reasoning
  • Professor Bates broke the problem when she realized that it was possible to synthesize the necessary compounds

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10 to stop functioning
  • after working for 30 years, the pump simply broke one day

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11 to hasten away from something dangerous or frightening
  • the herd of gazelles broke when they saw the lions racing toward them from the ridge above

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12 to use up all the physical energy of
  • the trek up the mountain just about broke me

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13 to become known
  • as soon as the scandal broke, the CEO fled the country

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14 to cause to lose one's fortune and become unable to pay one's debts
  • another bad investment could break him

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15 to come into existence
  • the crisis had passed, and a new day was breaking

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16 to depart abruptly from a straight line or course
  • the running back broke to his left before running out of bounds

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18 to go beyond the limit of
  • a menu with prices that is likely to break the budgets of all but the wealthiest of diners

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19 to penetrate the surface (as of water) from below
  • dolphins were breaking all around the boat

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break

noun

Synonyms & Antonyms of break (Entry 2 of 2)

1 a momentary halt in an activity
  • there was a brief break after the first movement as the doors to the concert hall were opened and the latecomers were allowed in

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2 a period during which the usual routine of school or work is suspended
  • most of the students at the boarding school are going home for Christmas break

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3 an open space in a barrier (as a wall or hedge)
  • the rancher repaired the break in the fence where the horse had gotten through

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4 a favorable combination of circumstances, time, and place
  • in classic fashion, her big break came when, as an understudy, she took over for an ailing star

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5 an unexpected benefit or advantage resulting from the uncertain course of events
  • a guy who just seems to get all the breaks in life

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6 the act or an instance of getting free from danger or confinement
  • a desperate break from that hellhole

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Time Traveler for break

Time Traveler

The first known use of break was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Break.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/break. Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on break

Dictionary: Definition of break

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with break

Medical Dictionary: Definition of break

Spanish Central: Translation of break

Nglish: Translation of break for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of break for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about break

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