Thesaurus

breaking

verb
present participle of break

Synonyms & Antonyms of breaking

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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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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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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See the Dictionary Definition 

Learn More About breaking

Thesaurus Entries Near breaking

break-in

breaking

breaking bread

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Cite this Entry

“Breaking.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/breaking. Accessed 18 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on breaking

Nglish: Translation of breaking for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of breaking for Arabic Speakers

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