Synonyms of 'break'
the dawnHe fell through the window, breaking the glass.
Safety glass won't shatter if it's broken.
separate, , ,
The nose section separates from the fuselage.
the artificial line that divided the city
snap, , ,
The brake pedal had just snapped.
It's an exploded fracture – the bones have fragmented.
The building is being demolished to make way for a motorway.
Oil was still gushing from the severed fuel line.
At 420 mph the windscreen disintegrated.
The ruler cracked and splintered into pieces.
smash to smithereens,
shiver (archaic, literary)
to fracture (a bone) in (a limb, etc.)She broke her leg in a skiing accident.
to burst or cut the surface of (skin)The bandage must be put on when the blister breaks.
to damage or become damaged so as not to workWhen the clutch broke, the car was locked into second gear.
Their car broke down.
go wrong, ,
If your DVD player goes wrong, you can have it repaired.
pack up (British, informal),
Our car packed up.
have had it, ,
cease to function, ,
The engine coughed, spluttered, and died.
go on the blink,
to fail to observe (an agreement, promise, or law)We didn't know we were breaking the law.
He was forever disobeying the rules.
The film breached the criminal libel laws.
This was the first time that I had dared to defy her.
violate, , ,
They violated the ceasefire agreement.
The film exploited his image and infringed his copyright.
He said the article did not contravene the industry's code of conduct.
He had transgressed the boundaries of good taste.
go counter to,
to bring or come to an endHe aims to break the vicious cycle.
The noise broke my concentration.
They have yet to break the link with the trade unions.
Talks have resumed to try to end the fighting.
The music stopped and the lights were turned up.
drop, , , , ,
I was told to drop the idea.
Her next remark abruptly terminated the conversation.
put an end to,
Do not discontinue the treatment without consulting your doctor.
bring to an end,
pull the plug on,
call a halt to
to cause (a person) to give up (a habit)If you continue to smoke, keep trying to break the habit.
to weaken or overwhelm or be weakened or overwhelmed, as in spiritHe never let his jailers break him.
Her opponents believe that her authority has been fatally weakened.
This will undermine their chances of success.
They were not cowed by physical intimidation.
Two regiments were called out to tame the crowds.
They admit they have not been able to subdue the rebels.
One of the objectives is to demoralize enemy troops.
to reduce to poverty or the state of bankruptcyThe newspapers can make or break you.
Roads have been destroyed and crops ruined.
The building was completely destroyed.
Their vehicle was crushed by an army tank.
His teacher continually humiliates him in maths lessons.
The move to the market nearly bankrupted the firm and its director.
a society impoverished by wartime inflation
bring to ruin
to discontinue or become discontinuedThey broke for lunch.
We broke our journey at a small country hotel.
to weaken the impact or force ofShe was saved by bushes which broke her fall.
Consumption is being reduced by 25 per cent.
The heavy snow had eased a little.
They are hoping that she will be persuaded to moderate her views.
Federalism is intended to diminish the power of the central state.
He had to learn to temper his enthusiasm.
He could not think how to soften the blow of what he had to tell her.
Keep immunisations up to date to lessen the risk of serious illness.
A great deal can be done to alleviate back pain.
He felt the need to lighten the atmosphere.
to reveal or be revealedHe resigned his post as Bishop when the scandal broke.
The truth is beginning to come out now.
be made public,
be let out,
come out in the wash
to reveal or be revealedI worried for ages and decided I had better break the news.
She has refused to reveal her daughter's whereabouts.
The facts tell a very different story.
The couple were planning to announce their engagement.
Anyone carrying money into or out of the country must declare it.
Neither side would disclose details of the transaction.
He continues to proclaim his innocence.
He was charged with divulging state secrets.
to improve on or surpassThe film has broken all box office records.
He was as eager as his captain to beat the record.
How are you ever going to top that?
He bettered the old record of 4 minutes 24.
His performance exceeded all expectations.
Few dancers have excelled her in virtuosity.
He was determined to surpass the achievements of his older brothers.
In recent years demand has outstripped supply.
Both sides have tried to outdo each other.
He always has to cap everyone else's achievements.
to come into beingThey continued their search as dawn broke.
We cannot say for sure what will happen.
A woman appeared at the far end of the street.
He was waiting outside as she emerged from the building.
The deaths occurred when troops tried to disperse the demonstrators.
Lava erupted from the volcano and flowed over the ridge.
Then war burst out.
come into being,
come forth suddenly
(of waves) to strike violently againstHe listened to the waves breaking against the shore.
to decipherIt was feared they could break the allies' code.
The secret documents were intercepted and decoded.
He has finally cracked the code after years of painstaking research.
Their domestic reforms did nothing to solve unemployment.
The pictures are often difficult to interpret.
decipher, , ,
I'm still no closer to deciphering the code.
Godfrey's voice broke, and halted.
I stood there, crying and shaking with fear.
He began to tremble all over.
Her voice faltered and she had to stop a moment to control it.
Some military commanders wavered over whether to support the coup.
She stammered her way through an introduction.
I was trembling so hard, I thought I would stutter when I spoke.
the act or result of breakinga break in the earth's surface
large fractures in the crust creating the valleys
He squeezed through an opening in the fence.
I peered through a tear in the van's curtains.
They got in through a hole in the wall.
kids with holes in the knees of their jeans
The seat had a few small splits around the corners.
crack, , ,
The plate had a crack in it.
A large battering ram hammered a breach in the wall.
ruptures in a 60-mile pipeline on the island
a long gash just above his right eye
There was a great crack, and a fissure opened up.
any sudden interruption in a continuous actionNothing has been discussed that might lead to a break in the deadlock.
There was no sign of any let-up in the battle on the money markets yesterday.
Air traffic has been brought to a halt.
the suspension of flights between London and Manchester
a lessening of tension on the border
interruptions in the supply of food and fuel
I rang home during a brief respite at work.
a lull in the conversation
They would not agree to a cessation of hostilities.
It had been raining hard all day, without remission.
breathing space, ,
We hope that it will give us some breathing space.
Efforts to reach a settlement resume today after a two-week hiatus.
a sudden break in the clouds
the wind tearing through gaps in the window frames
The space underneath could be used as a storage area.
the great divide between generations
She watched him though a crack in the curtains.
In the open bog are many rifts and potholes.
a narrow cleft in the rocks too small for a human to squeeze through
He peered through a chink in the curtains.
a huge boulder with rare ferns growing in every crevice
The lizards fled into crannies in the rocks.
They always play that music during the break.
a (short) holidayThey are currently taking a short break in Spain.
a fortunate opportunity, esp. to prove oneself(informal) The rain was a lucky break for the American.
stroke of luck,
All eligible people will get a chance to vote.
I was given an opportunity to bathe and shower.
I had the opportunity to go abroad and study.
Such good fortune must be shared with my friends.
All she needed was an opening to show her capabilities.
There is some threat of a break in relations between them.
the breach between Tito and Stalin
a split in the party
a permanent separation from his son
They hope to heal the rift with their father.
a major rupture between the two countries
Her sense of alienation from the world disappeared.
evidence of the people's disaffection with their leaders
The church seems to be on the brink of schism.
The quarrel marked the beginning of a 20-year estrangement.
the division between the prosperous west and the impoverished east
See break away
See break down
See break free of something or someone
See break in
See break off
See break out
See break someone in
See break through
See break up
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in the sense of abandon
to give up completelyThe authorities have abandoned any attempt to distribute food.
in the sense of alienation
Her sense of alienation from the world disappeared.
in the sense of alleviate
to lessen (pain or suffering)A great deal can be done to alleviate back pain.
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Video: pronunciation of 'break'
Thesaurus for break from the Collins English Thesaurus