From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishldoce_037_fbreakbreak1 /breɪk/ ●●● S1 W1 verb (past tense broke /brəʊk $ broʊk/, past participle broken /ˈbrəʊkən $ ˈbroʊ-/) 1 IN PIECESseparate into pieces a) [transitive]BREAK if you break something, you make it separate into two or more pieces, for example by hitting it, dropping it, or bending it I had to break a window to get into the house. Don’t lean on the fence like that – you’ll break it!break something in half/two He broke the biscuit in half and handed one piece to me. Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt it over a gentle heat. b) [intransitive]BREAK if something breaks, it separates into two or more pieces He kept pulling at the rope until it broke. The frames are made of plastic and they tend to break quite easily.2 PART OF YOUR BODYbones [transitive]BREAK to damage a bone in your body by making it crack or split She fell downstairs and broke her hip.► see thesaurus at hurt3 NOT WORKINGmachines a) [transitive]BREAK to damage a machine so that it does not work properly Don’t mess about with my camera – you’ll break it. Someone’s broken the TV. b) [intransitive]BREAK if a machine breaks, it stops working properly The washing machine’s broken again.4 RULE/LAW ETCrules/laws [transitive]DISOBEY to disobey a rule or law They’re breaking the law by employing such young children. If you break the rules, you will be punished. The cameras catch motorists who break the speed limit.5 PROMISE/AGREEMENTpromise/agreement [transitive]NOT DO something to not do something that you have promised to do or signed an agreement to do I never break my promises. You betrayed me. You broke your word.break an agreement/contract He was worried that he might be breaking his contract. 6 stop/rest [intransitive] to stop for a short time in order to have a rest or eat somethingbreak for Shall we break for lunch now?7 END A SITUATIONend something [transitive]CHANGE/MAKE something DIFFERENT to stop something from continuing We need to break the cycle of poverty and crime in the inner cities. We took turns driving, in order to try and break the monotony. New talks will begin on Monday in an effort to break the deadlock.8 FAILdefeat somebody [transitive] to make someone feel that they have been completely defeated and they cannot continue working or living Losing his business nearly broke him. I won’t give in. I won’t be broken by him.9 destroy an organization [transitive] to damage an organization so badly that it no longer has any power The government succeeded in breaking the unions.10 DAY/DAWNday/dawn [intransitive]HAPPEN when the day or the dawn breaks, the sky gets light Dawn was breaking by the time we arrived home. 11 STORMstorm [intransitive]START TO HAPPEN, EXIST ETC if a storm breaks, it begins We were keen to get back to the hotel before the storm broke.12 WEATHERweather [intransitive]CHANGE/BECOME DIFFERENT if the weather breaks, it suddenly changes and becomes cold or wet The following day the weather broke and we had ten days of solid rain.13 WAVEwaves [intransitive]FALL when waves break, they fall onto the land at the edge of the water We sat and watched the waves breaking on the shore.14 VOICEsomebody’s voice [intransitive]LOW SOUND OR VOICE a) when a boy’s voice breaks, it becomes lower and starts to sound like a man’s voice He was fifteen, and his voice was just beginning to break. b) if your voice breaks, it does not sound smooth because you are feeling strong emotions Her voice broke as she told us what had happened.15 NEWSnews a) [intransitive]NEWS if news about an important event breaks, it becomes known News of his resignation broke yesterday. The minister has refused to give any interviews since the scandal broke. b) [transitive] if you break unpleasant news to someone, you tell it to them I didn’t know how I was going to break the news to my mother. The doctor finally broke it to me that there was no cure. 16 → break a habit17 → break a record18 → break a journey19 → break somebody’s heart20 → break a strike21 → break a link/tie/connection22 → break the skin23 → break the back of something24 → break the bank25 → break somebody’s concentration26 → break the silence27 → break somebody’s spirit28 → break somebody’s power29 → break the ice30 → break a code31 → break wind32 → break (somebody’s) serve33 → break a legGrammarBreak belongs to a group of verbs where the same noun can be the subject of the verb or its object. • You can say: I broke a glass. In this sentence, ‘a glass’ is the object of break.• You can also say: A glass broke. In this sentence, ‘a glass’ is the subject of break.COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 5: to not do something that you have promised to do or signed an agreement to dobreak + NOUNbreak your promiseI’ll never forgive him for breaking his promise to me.break your word (=break your promise)I’ve promised to do it and I never break my word.break your vow (=break a serious or formal promise)He accused her of breaking her marriage vows.break (off) your engagementIn the end she decided to break their engagement.break a contractHe took the company to court for breaking the contract.break an agreementThis action broke the international agreement of 1925. THESAURUSto break somethingbreak verb [transitive] to damage something and make it separate into pieces, for example by dropping it or hitting itCareful you don’t break the chair.He broke his leg.smash verb [transitive] to break something with a lot of forceA policeman smashed his camera.snap verb [transitive] to break something into two pieces, making a loud noise – used especially about long thin objectsHe snapped the sticks in two.split verb [transitive] to separate something into two pieces along a straight lineUsing a sharp knife, split the melon in half.fracture verb [transitive] to damage a bone, especially so that a line appears on the surfaceI fell over and fractured my wrist.tear /teə $ ter/ verb [transitive] to damage paper or cloth by pulling it so that it separates into piecesShe tore up the letter and put it in the bin.I tore my jacket.to become brokenbreak verb [intransitive] to become damaged and separate into piecesPlastic breaks quite easily.smash verb [intransitive] to break after being hit with a lot of forceThe bowl smashed as it hit the floor.shatter verb [intransitive] to break into a lot of small piecesThe glass shattered all over the pavement.crack verb [intransitive] if something cracks, a line appears on the surface, which means that it could later break into separate piecesThe ice was starting to crack.burst verb [intransitive] if a tyre, balloon, pipe etc bursts, it gets a hole and air or liquid suddenly comes out of itShe blew up the balloon until it burst.split verb [intransitive] to break in a straight lineThe damp had caused the wood to split.crumble verb [intransitive] to break into a powder or a lot of small piecesThe cork just crumbled in my hand. → break away → break down → break for something → break in → break into something → break somebody of something → break off → break out → break through → break up → break with somebody/something→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusbreak• I think I was about 14 when my voice broke.• I think the switch is broken.• My watchband has broken.• She dropped a plate and it broke.• Do not use this product if the seal has been broken.• I saw him thrown into the shattered windshield, bounced around inside the Volvo, his face slashed and his bones broken.• Farmers are anxious for the cold weather to break.• He once broke a window of his grandfather's greenhouse with a football.• Her voice breaks as she talks about her missing children.• Britain stood for political ideals that must prevail if western civilization were not to break down.• Careful, those glasses break easily.• She fell off her bike and broke her glasses.• It was such bad luck - it was our first time skiing and Nicola broke her leg.• It just broke. I didn't even touch it!• His nose was broken in two places by a player he had sent off for violent play.• If you break it you'll have to pay for it out of your allowance.• Leave that clock alone - you'll break it!• One of the kids put some rocks in the blender and broke it.• I was trying to ease the wagon down a short slope when it broke loose and almost broke my leg.• I broke my leg last time I went skiing.• I'll let you break next game.• From time to time he broke off his labours to return to the great court to look out for Tutilo returning.• I broke one of her platters once, and I swear she's never forgiven me.• How did you manage to break the microwave?• I don't know what she did, but she managed to break the sewing machine.• Only once did Norwich break their stranglehold, midway through the first-half, when John Polston moved up to rattle a post.break something in half/two• The midsection of the plane is broken nearly in two.• He would have broken it in two and made us watch him do it.• She takes out another donut, breaks it in half and offers it to me.• So he went at me, but I ducked and he hit the shelf - he broke his thumb in two places!• Terrified, she threw herself from the first floor apartment window, breaking her spine in two places.• Once some increasing-returns sectors become nontraded, the analysis breaks down in two ways.• He could have broken me in two with one hand, but he could not break my spirit.break ... rules• He knew he was breaking the rules.• Telling the truth about mothering-when it does not refer to the oneness and bliss-means breaking the rules.• This raises the question of who is responsible if the individual trader breaks the rules.• If only he knew you never break the rules Dudley Do-Right.• Yet even then, as whenever she broke the rules, I had to admit to a tiny bubble of delight.• Very slowly, I realize I can break the rules I hate.• To misuse or break the rules of winking is to produce misunderstanding, puzzlement, complaint, or some other social reaction.• Athletes can be find thousands of dollars for breaking the rules on steroid use.• As I said, you can break the rules sometimes.• Any student caught breaking the school rules was immediately sent to the Principal. break an agreement/contract• And I am also not some one to break contracts.• Farmers say supermarkets put them under pressure to sell at rock bottom prices-and regularly break contracts.• How can a teacher break a contract?• What are the legal consequences of breaking a contract?• Thus an agreement to break a contract may not be actionable.• He broke agreements on a whim, relying on private bargains and connections.• Companies are not regarded as individuals under the Act and are therefore unable to break contracts once signed.• Of course, a teacher who breaks a contract will also be liable to the school; district.break for• Things could improve as the effects of a tax break for defense manufacturers become evident.• As they break for food the general conversation isn't much toned down for her benefit.• A couple of them made a break for it.• Ever see some one walk into a computer store, grab a floor model and make a break for it?• I pulled Susan, and made a break for it.• As the inquest broke for lunch one relative cornered him in the street.• In August, they will break for the presidential conventions.• It was make or break for us.break ... deadlock• But Mr Razali is the first envoy to successfully break the deadlock.• But, last week, news broke that contacts were under way to break the deadlock.• Marco Van Basten grabbed his fourth goal of the season, 12 minutes after Daniele Massaro had broken the deadlock.• Senior officials will meet again in October in an attempt to break the deadlock.• Then, at last, Guido broke the deadlock.• Three minutes before the interval Millen struck to break the deadlock and Love made it two a minute later.• Perhaps here was the key to break the deadlock, the key to the throne of the Wyrmberg.• But birthday boy Wright was waiting to break the deadlock with the goal he had been seeking all night. break ... news• Davis found that the greater the probable handicap, the greater the reluctance to break the news.• Me: How did you break the news?• None wanted to be the one to break the news.• In a desperate attempt to break the news gently to the Overs, Mr Cronje asked police not to visit their home.• They rang from the duty office to break the news to me just after nine.• It was at some point during this trip that she broke the news to Sam.• I broke the news to some people.• Sir Bryan himself had broken the news to Stephen Bonnard.breakbreak2 ●●● S2 W2 noun 1 stop working [countable] a period of time when you stop working in order to rest, eat etc We’ll have a short break for lunch, then start again at two o'clock. Let’s take a ten-minute break. We’d worked for ten hours without a break. I’ll go shopping during my lunch break.2 stop doing something [countable] a period of time when you stop doing something before you start againbreak from I wanted a break from university life. She decided to take a career break when she had children.break in a welcome break in my normal routine3 holiday [countable] a short holiday I was beginning to feel that I needed a break. We flew off for a week’s break in Spain. They’re offering weekend breaks in Paris for only £100.the Easter/Christmas etc break Are you looking forward to the summer break?4 at school [uncountable] the time during the school day when classes stop and teachers and students can rest, eat, play etcat break I’ll speak to you at break. They get together with their friends at break time.5 on tv [countable] a pause for advertisements during a television or radio programme Join us again after the break. We’ll be back with more after a short break. 6 something stops happening [countable] a period of time when something stops happening before it starts againbreak in We’ll go for a walk if there’s a break in the rain. Latecomers will be admitted at a suitable break in the performance. She waited for a break in the conversation. There was no sign of a break in the weather (=an improvement in bad weather).7 END/CHANGEend a relationship [singular]FINISH/COME TO AN END a time when you leave a person or group, or end a relationship with someone I wanted a clean break so that I could restart my life. It was years before I plucked up enough courage to make the break and leave him.break with He was beginning to regret his break with the Labour Party.8 A SPACEspace/hole [countable]SPACE/GAP a space or hole in somethingbreak in We crawled through a break in the hedge. The sun shone through a break in the clouds.9 A CHANCEchance [countable] informalCHANCE/OPPORTUNITY a sudden or unexpected chance to do something that allows you to become successful in your job There are hundreds of young musicians out there looking for their first break. He got his first big break in 1998. a lucky break10 BROKEN PLACEbones [countable]INJURE the place where a bone in your body has broken It’s quite a bad break, which will take several months to heal. 11 TENNIStennis [countable]DST a situation in a game of tennis in which you win a game when your opponent is starting the game by hitting the ball first She really needs a break of serve now if she wants to win this match.12 POINTSsnooker [countable]DSB the number of points that a player wins when it is their turn to hit the ball in a game such as snooker13 → break with tradition/the past14 → make a break for something15 → give me/it a break!16 → give somebody a break17 → the break of dayCOLLOCATIONSverbshave/take a breakAfter two hours, she took a break and switched on the radio.need a breakI’m sorry, I can’t do any more - I need a break.ADJECTIVES/NOUN + break a short/quick breakShall we have a quick five-minute break?a lunch breakWhat time’s your lunch break?a coffee/tea breakHow about a coffee break?a morning/afternoon breakI don’t usually have time for a morning break.a well-earned break (=one that you deserve)Everyone’s looking forward to a well-earned break when the exams are over.
Examples from the Corpusbreak• There had been barely a break in their conversation as they hopped the rocks.• I spoke to him briefly during a break in rehearsals.• Gary wants to work in television. He's just waiting for a break.• Some agencies are particularly keen to attract nurses who have had a break in practice and provide reorientation for new staff.• After finishing school, Craig felt he needed a break from studying.• Gonzales needs a break of serve to even the match up.• Can you take a break next month?• There was a break of two years between his last book and this one.• Some new networks can heal themselves when a break occurs, without any involvement from a repairman.• Harry had worked for eight hours without a break.• Could you come and see me during afternoon break?• Come and see me at break, Tom.• Nimoy's big break in television came in the mid-'60s, when he won the role of Spock on "Star Trek."• The students get a few days' break in February.• Seeing that advertisement in the paper was a lucky break for me.• Superior Court Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki abruptly called for an early lunch break.• I'll phone you in my lunch break.• The children have a fifteen-minute break at 11 o'clock.• She returned to her job after a six-month break.• Daytona Beach is preparing for the thousands of college students who will arrive for spring break.• OK, let's run through it again straight after the break.• But when one came it was on the break, Tovalieri getting Bari's third.• The break has not healed correctly.• During those breaks tea was brewed over Bunsen burners, and he sat back and answered questions.• She's had a two-year break from competitive running, but now she's staging a comeback.lunch break• Then we had a lunch break during which time the Head went round and awarded marks for the cleanest class.• More volunteers would also allow the workers simple pleasures like a lunch break without feeling guilty.• Superior Court Judge Hiroshi Fujisaki abruptly called for an early lunch break.• I timed it so I caught Stu on his lunch break.• After all, the 27-year-old farm worker fully intended to return to work when his 30-minute lunch break was over.• I rang Joy and Alan, who came immediately and stayed, apart from a quick lunch break, all day.• Oh, they had a little fun trapping regents going to the bathroom during the lunch break.• Zaza and Fiona were discussing their plans to visit Top Shop in their lunch break.career break• I took up a position in a university library after a career break.• It has been written to meet the needs of those returning to work after a career break.• It is vital that the education system should attract back women who have taken a career break to raise a family.• But despite all the bonhomie about career breaks in the Nogales maquilas, Colantuoni says one thing is clear.• We already encourage job-shares, part-time working and career breaks and we are introducing home working.• His next big career break came about almost by accident.• Employers who do not offer career breaks and childcare facilities may find themselves passed over in favour of employers who do.the Easter/Christmas etc break• Of course, no day is typical and there are particular tensions which emerge in the few weeks before the Christmas break.• Before the Christmas break it became apocalyptic.• Adam was nineteen and in his first year at university, though at that time at home for the Easter break.• Thomas Cook is to launch a £1m campaign to encourage late bookers to travel over the Easter break.• For Armagh it's crucial they build on a series of heart-warming displays since the Christmas break.• To emphasise the message, ministers have been told to spend the Easter break in Britain rather than holidaying overseas.• Everything was A-Okay until the Christmas break.• A Forte spokesperson says the launch of the Heritage campaign is timed to coincide with the Easter break.break time• What should happen to helpers at break times?• Important parts of the job could be carried out at break times or through telephone calls.• The selling of sugar free squash at break times provides a service appreciated by children and also generates a regular income.• Oh, looks like it's coffee break time - again.• Royal watchers say the 47-year-old prince recognizes it is make or break time for him personally.• And the break time in between has been cut from 1 minute, 30 seconds to 50 seconds.• Should they have their break times in the staff rooms or is this an intrusion into staff freedom?break in the weather• Taking advantage of a brief break in the weather, people covered the fountain.• The break in the weather made it easier for everyone.break with• The ceremony is a complete break with tradition.• This ruling represents a major break with the policies of the past 35 years.lucky break• It might be a lucky break.• Outside Nordhausen he had a lucky break.• Key events included radical job changes and serious problems, as well as lucky breaks.• Ace thought that was another suspiciously lucky break, but she had no complaints.• He wouldn't be getting much sleep over the next few days unless they got a very lucky break.break of serve• No surprise breaks of serve, no marathon games.From Longman Business Dictionarybreakbreak1 /breɪk/ verb (past tense broke /brəʊkbroʊk/, past participle broken /ˈbrəʊkənˈbroʊ-/)1[transitive] if someone breaks a law, rule, agreement etc, they do not do what it says they should doIf you copy music files from the Internet, you could easily be breaking the law.The other company broke the terms of its agreement.2if employers break a STRIKE, they force the strikers to end it, perhaps with the help of the army or the policeHe broke the ambulancemen’s strike by getting the army to answer emergency calls.3break even to neither make a profit nor lose moneyThe company needs to charge $13 a ton to break even.The retailer warns that it expects sales to be down by 15%, and it may only break even. → break down → break something → up→ See Verb tablebreakbreak2 noun [countable]1a period of time when you stop working or stop what you are doing in order to rest, eat, take a holiday etcHe was entitled to a forty-five minute lunch break.Employers must provide people who work at computers with rest breaks.2 (also commercial break) a pause for advertisements during a television or radio programmeWe’ll be back with more music after the break.3FINANCE a sudden, large fall in market prices, especially the price of shares on a stockmarketThe big break in cattle prices has forced ranchers to stop selling young cattle.4a sudden or unexpected chance to do something, especially to be successful in your jobShe got her first break in 1951 on Broadway.He did small commercials for Yellow Pages before getting his big break with the Porsche advert.5a period of several weeks or years during which something stops, before continuing againbreak inIf you have a break in paid employment for two complete consecutive tax years, you must pay full-rate contributions when you return to work. → career breakOrigin break1 Old English brecan