From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Break \Break\ (br[=a]k), v. t. [imp. broke (br[=o]k), (Obs.
   Brake); p. p. Broken (br[=o]"k'n), (Obs. Broke); p. pr.
   & vb. n. Breaking.] [OE. breken, AS. brecan; akin to OS.
   brekan, D. breken, OHG. brehhan, G. brechen, Icel. braka to
   creak, Sw. braka, br[aum]kka to crack, Dan. br[ae]kke to
   break, Goth. brikan to break, L. frangere. Cf. Bray to
   pound, Breach, Fragile.]
   1. To strain apart; to sever by fracture; to divide with
      violence; as, to break a rope or chain; to break a seal;
      to break an axle; to break rocks or coal; to break a lock.
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   2. To lay open as by breaking; to divide; as, to break a
      package of goods.
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   3. To lay open, as a purpose; to disclose, divulge, or
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            Katharine, break thy mind to me.      --Shak.
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   4. To infringe or violate, as an obligation, law, or promise.
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            Out, out, hyena! these are thy wonted arts . . .
            To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray.
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   5. To interrupt; to destroy the continuity of; to dissolve or
      terminate; as, to break silence; to break one's sleep; to
      break one's journey.
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            Go, release them, Ariel;
            My charms I'll break, their senses I'll restore.
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   6. To destroy the completeness of; to remove a part from; as,
      to break a set.
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   7. To destroy the arrangement of; to throw into disorder; to
      pierce; as, the cavalry were not able to break the British
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   8. To shatter to pieces; to reduce to fragments.
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            The victim broke in pieces the musical instruments
            with which he had solaced the hours of captivity.
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   9. To exchange for other money or currency of smaller
      denomination; as, to break a five dollar bill.
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   10. To destroy the strength, firmness, or consistency of; as,
       to break flax.
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   11. To weaken or impair, as health, spirit, or mind.
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             An old man, broken with the storms of state.
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   12. To diminish the force of; to lessen the shock of, as a
       fall or blow.
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             I'll rather leap down first, and break your fall.
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   13. To impart, as news or information; to broach; -- with to,
       and often with a modified word implying some reserve; as,
       to break the news gently to the widow; to break a purpose
       cautiously to a friend.
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   14. To tame; to reduce to subjection; to make tractable; to
       discipline; as, to break a horse to the harness or
       saddle. "To break a colt." --Spenser.
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             Why, then thou canst not break her to the lute?
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   15. To destroy the financial credit of; to make bankrupt; to
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             With arts like these rich Matho, when he speaks,
             Attracts all fees, and little lawyers breaks.
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   16. To destroy the official character and standing of; to
       cashier; to dismiss.
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             I see a great officer broken.        --Swift.
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   Note: With prepositions or adverbs: 
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   To break down.
       (a) To crush; to overwhelm; as, to break down one's
           strength; to break down opposition.
       (b) To remove, or open a way through, by breaking; as, to
           break down a door or wall.

   To break in.
       (a) To force in; as, to break in a door.
       (b) To train; to discipline; as, a horse well broken in.

   To break of, to rid of; to cause to abandon; as, to break
      one of a habit.

   To break off.
       (a) To separate by breaking; as, to break off a twig.
       (b) To stop suddenly; to abandon. "Break off thy sins by
           righteousness." --Dan. iv. 27.

   To break open, to open by breaking. "Open the door, or I
      will break it open." --Shak.

   To break out, to take or force out by breaking; as, to
      break out a pane of glass.

   To break out a cargo, to unstow a cargo, so as to unload it

   To break through.
       (a) To make an opening through, as, as by violence or the
           force of gravity; to pass violently through; as, to
           break through the enemy's lines; to break through the
       (b) To disregard; as, to break through the ceremony.

   To break up.
       (a) To separate into parts; to plow (new or fallow
           ground). "Break up this capon." --Shak. "Break up
           your fallow ground." --Jer. iv. 3.
       (b) To dissolve; to put an end to. "Break up the court."

   To break (one) all up, to unsettle or disconcert
      completely; to upset. [Colloq.]
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   Note: With an immediate object: 
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   To break the back.
       (a) To dislocate the backbone; hence, to disable totally.
       (b) To get through the worst part of; as, to break the
           back of a difficult undertaking.

   To break bulk, to destroy the entirety of a load by
      removing a portion of it; to begin to unload; also, to
      transfer in detail, as from boats to cars.

   To break a code to discover a method to convert coded
      messages into the original understandable text.

   To break cover, to burst forth from a protecting
      concealment, as game when hunted.

   To break a deer or To break a stag, to cut it up and
      apportion the parts among those entitled to a share.

   To break fast, to partake of food after abstinence. See

   To break ground.
       (a) To open the earth as for planting; to commence
           excavation, as for building, siege operations, and
           the like; as, to break ground for a foundation, a
           canal, or a railroad.
       (b) Fig.: To begin to execute any plan.
       (c) (Naut.) To release the anchor from the bottom.

   To break the heart, to crush or overwhelm (one) with grief.

   To break a house (Law), to remove or set aside with
      violence and a felonious intent any part of a house or of
      the fastenings provided to secure it.

   To break the ice, to get through first difficulties; to
      overcome obstacles and make a beginning; to introduce a

   To break jail, to escape from confinement in jail, usually
      by forcible means.

   To break a jest, to utter a jest. "Patroclus . . . the
      livelong day breaks scurril jests." --Shak.

   To break joints, to lay or arrange bricks, shingles, etc.,
      so that the joints in one course shall not coincide with
      those in the preceding course.

   To break a lance, to engage in a tilt or contest.

   To break the neck, to dislocate the joints of the neck.

   To break no squares, to create no trouble. [Obs.]

   To break a path, road, etc., to open a way through
      obstacles by force or labor.

   To break upon a wheel, to execute or torture, as a criminal
      by stretching him upon a wheel, and breaking his limbs
      with an iron bar; -- a mode of punishment formerly
      employed in some countries.

   To break wind, to give vent to wind from the anus.
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   Syn: To dispart; rend; tear; shatter; batter; violate;
        infringe; demolish; destroy; burst; dislocate.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Brake \Brake\ (br[=a]k),
   imp. of Break. [Arhaic] --Tennyson.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Brake \Brake\, n. [OE. brake fern; cf. AS. bracce fern, LG.
   brake willow bush, Da. bregne fern, G. brach fallow; prob.
   orig. the growth on rough, broken ground, fr. the root of E.
   break. See Break, v. t., cf. Bracken, and 2d Brake, n.]
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   1. (Bot.) A fern of the genus Pteris, esp. the {Pteris
      aquilina}, common in almost all countries. It has solitary
      stems dividing into three principal branches. Less
      properly: Any fern.
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   2. A thicket; a place overgrown with shrubs and brambles,
      with undergrowth and ferns, or with canes.
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            Rounds rising hillocks, brakes obscure and rough,
            To shelter thee from tempest and from rain. --Shak.
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            He stayed not for brake, and he stopped not for
            stone.                                --Sir W.
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   Cane brake, a thicket of canes. See Canebrake.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Brake \Brake\ (br[=a]k), n. [OE. brake; cf. LG. brake an
   instrument for breaking flax, G. breche, fr. the root of E.
   break. See Break, v. t., and cf. Breach.]
   1. An instrument or machine to break or bruise the woody part
      of flax or hemp so that it may be separated from the
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   2. An extended handle by means of which a number of men can
      unite in working a pump, as in a fire engine.
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   3. A baker's kneading though. --Johnson.
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   4. A sharp bit or snaffle.
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            Pampered jades . . . which need nor break nor bit.
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   5. A frame for confining a refractory horse while the smith
      is shoeing him; also, an inclosure to restrain cattle,
      horses, etc.
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            A horse . . . which Philip had bought . . . and
            because of his fierceness kept him within a brake of
            iron bars.                            --J. Brende.
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   6. That part of a carriage, as of a movable battery, or
      engine, which enables it to turn.
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   7. (Mil.) An ancient engine of war analogous to the crossbow
      and ballista.
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   8. (Agric.) A large, heavy harrow for breaking clods after
      plowing; a drag.
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   9. A piece of mechanism for retarding or stopping motion by
      friction, as of a carriage or railway car, by the pressure
      of rubbers against the wheels, or of clogs or ratchets
      against the track or roadway, or of a pivoted lever
      against a wheel or drum in a machine.
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   10. (Engin.) An apparatus for testing the power of a steam
       engine, or other motor, by weighing the amount of
       friction that the motor will overcome; a friction brake.
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   11. A cart or carriage without a body, used in breaking in
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   12. An ancient instrument of torture. --Holinshed.
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   Air brake. See Air brake, in the Vocabulary.

   Brake beam or Brake bar, the beam that connects the brake
      blocks of opposite wheels.

   Brake block.
       (a) The part of a brake holding the brake shoe.
       (b) A brake shoe.

   Brake shoe or Brake rubber, the part of a brake against
      which the wheel rubs.

   Brake wheel, a wheel on the platform or top of a car by
      which brakes are operated.

   Continuous brake . See under Continuous.
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