1. ergative phrasal verb & phrasal verb If part of something breaks off or if you break it off, it comes off or is removed by force. [V P] ⇒ The two wings of the aircraft broke off on impact. [V P n] ⇒ Grace broke off a large piece of the clay. [V n P n] ⇒ They've torn down wooden fences and broken branches off trees. [Also V n P] 2. phrasal verb If you break off when you are doing or saying something, you suddenly stop doing it or saying it. [V P] ⇒ Llewelyn broke off in mid-sentence. [V P n] ⇒ The commander of the German task force radioed that he was breaking off the action. [Also V n P] 3. reciprocal phrasal verb & phrasal verb → break
If someone breaks off a relationship, they end it. [V P n] ⇒ The two West African states had broken off relations two years ago. [V n P + with] ⇒ He doesn't seem to have the courage to break it off with her.
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