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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun While Oppenheim isn't seen onscreen discussing the breakup, an earlier scene in the episode provides a clue. ELLE, 23 Apr. 2022 A decade after their abrupt breakup, Naomi (Lynn Chen) and Kris (Pooya Mohseni) decide to meet for dinner in hopes of catching up with each other. Sarah-tai Black, Los Angeles Times, 31 Mar. 2022 The series could then show their first trip to America in 1980, their near-breakup around the time of 1981’s October, and their decision to get political on 1983’s War. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 22 Mar. 2022 The media's focus on her fluctuating body image, changes within her inner circle, and a breakup (with fellow Latin music star Anuel AA), followed by a big move, led to an internal shift. Allure, 15 Mar. 2022 During the tense and emotional breakup, which Echard chose to do at once, Windey slammed the 28-year-old for being indecisive and playing with her emotions. Jodi Guglielmi,, 15 Mar. 2022 Lyonne previously spoke about the breakup to The Hollywood Reporter, jokingly insinuating the reason behind their separation was actually quite simple. Hattie Lindert,, 20 Apr. 2022 Donaldson did not want to comment on the record about the breakup, citing Spidell’s privacy, yet Tyson says Donaldson’s singular focus on work was a major contributing factor. Ej Dickson, Rolling Stone, 19 Apr. 2022 After the breakup, Depp sold the penthouses, forcing Baruch to move to another of Depp’s properties. Gene Maddaus, Variety, 19 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Then Villaseñor enlists Fineman to break up with her boyfriend for her. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, 8 May 2022 After discovering that Mencía is a prostitute, Rebeka's mother blackmails Mencía to break up with her daughter. Julia Moore,, 7 Apr. 2022 Vladimir Putin hoped to break up the European status quo with his attack on Ukraine. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, 28 Mar. 2022 On January 23, 1961, a B-52G Stratofortress experienced structural failure of its right wing, causing the aircraft to break up mid-flight. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 23 Mar. 2022 The floral sofa and the green lucite coffee table are a welcome surprise that break up the classic elements without overshadowing them. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 13 Apr. 2022 Redistricting comes after each U.S. Census and is meant to divide up the city into even districts by population that don’t break up neighborhoods or favor specific political parties. Ryan Gillespie,, 5 Apr. 2022 There’s no precipitation in the forecast through the beginning of next week, just a few clouds to break up the sunny skies. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 21 Mar. 2022 This year, nobody figures to have a real chance to break up the trio. oregonlive, 12 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of breakup was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near breakup

break time


break up

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Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Breakup.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on breakup

Nglish: Translation of breakup for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of breakup for Arabic Speakers


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