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.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. To lay open as by breaking; to divide; as, to break a
      package of goods.
      [1913 Webster]

   3. To lay open, as a purpose; to disclose, divulge, or
      [1913 Webster]

            Katharine, break thy mind to me.      --Shak.
      [1913 Webster]

   4. To infringe or violate, as an obligation, law, or promise.
      [1913 Webster]

            Out, out, hyena! these are thy wonted arts . . .
            To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray.
      [1913 Webster]

   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.
      [1913 Webster]

            Go, release them, Ariel;
            My charms I'll break, their senses I'll restore.
      [1913 Webster]

   6. To destroy the completeness of; to remove a part from; as,
      to break a set.
      [1913 Webster]

   7. To destroy the arrangement of; to throw into disorder; to
      pierce; as, the cavalry were not able to break the British
      [1913 Webster]

   8. To shatter to pieces; to reduce to fragments.
      [1913 Webster]

            The victim broke in pieces the musical instruments
            with which he had solaced the hours of captivity.
      [1913 Webster]

   9. To exchange for other money or currency of smaller
      denomination; as, to break a five dollar bill.
      [1913 Webster]

   10. To destroy the strength, firmness, or consistency of; as,
       to break flax.
       [1913 Webster]

   11. To weaken or impair, as health, spirit, or mind.
       [1913 Webster]

             An old man, broken with the storms of state.
       [1913 Webster]

   12. To diminish the force of; to lessen the shock of, as a
       fall or blow.
       [1913 Webster]

             I'll rather leap down first, and break your fall.
       [1913 Webster]

   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.
       [1913 Webster]

   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.
       [1913 Webster]

             Why, then thou canst not break her to the lute?
       [1913 Webster]

   15. To destroy the financial credit of; to make bankrupt; to
       [1913 Webster]

             With arts like these rich Matho, when he speaks,
             Attracts all fees, and little lawyers breaks.
       [1913 Webster]

   16. To destroy the official character and standing of; to
       cashier; to dismiss.
       [1913 Webster]

             I see a great officer broken.        --Swift.
       [1913 Webster]

   Note: With prepositions or adverbs: 
         [1913 Webster]

   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.]
      [1913 Webster]

   Note: With an immediate object: 
         [1913 Webster]

   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.
      [1913 Webster]

   Syn: To dispart; rend; tear; shatter; batter; violate;
        infringe; demolish; destroy; burst; dislocate.
        [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Break \Break\ (br[=a]k), v. i.
   1. To come apart or divide into two or more pieces, usually
      with suddenness and violence; to part; to burst asunder.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. To open spontaneously, or by pressure from within, as a
      bubble, a tumor, a seed vessel, a bag.
      [1913 Webster]

            Else the bottle break, and the wine runneth out.
                                                  --Math. ix.
      [1913 Webster]

   3. To burst forth; to make its way; to come to view; to
      appear; to dawn.
      [1913 Webster]

            The day begins to break, and night is fled. --Shak.
      [1913 Webster]

            And from the turf a fountain broke,
            and gurgled at our feet.              --Wordsworth.
      [1913 Webster]

   4. To burst forth violently, as a storm.
      [1913 Webster]

            The clouds are still above; and, while I speak,
            A second deluge o'er our head may break. --Dryden.
      [1913 Webster]

   5. To open up; to be scattered; to be dissipated; as, the
      clouds are breaking.
      [1913 Webster]

            At length the darkness begins to break. --Macaulay.
      [1913 Webster]

   6. To become weakened in constitution or faculties; to lose
      health or strength.
      [1913 Webster]

            See how the dean begins to break;
            Poor gentleman! he droops apace.      --Swift.
      [1913 Webster]

   7. To be crushed, or overwhelmed with sorrow or grief; as, my
      heart is breaking.
      [1913 Webster]

   8. To fall in business; to become bankrupt.
      [1913 Webster]

            He that puts all upon adventures doth oftentimes
            break, and come to poverty.           --Bacn.
      [1913 Webster]

   9. To make an abrupt or sudden change; to change the gait;
      as, to break into a run or gallop.
      [1913 Webster]

   10. To fail in musical quality; as, a singer's voice breaks
       when it is strained beyond its compass and a tone or note
       is not completed, but degenerates into an unmusical sound
       instead. Also, to change in tone, as a boy's voice at
       [1913 Webster]

   11. To fall out; to terminate friendship.
       [1913 Webster]

             To break upon the score of danger or expense is to
             be mean and narrow-spirited.         --Collier.
       [1913 Webster]

   Note: With prepositions or adverbs: 
         [1913 Webster]

   To break away, to disengage one's self abruptly; to come or
      go away against resistance.
      [1913 Webster]

            Fear me not, man; I will not break away. --Shak.
      [1913 Webster]

   To break down.
       (a) To come down by breaking; as, the coach broke down.
       (b) To fail in any undertaking; to halt before successful
           completion; as, the negotiations broke down due to
           irreconcilable demands.
       (c) To cease functioning or to malfunction; as, the car
           broke down in the middle of the highway.
           [1913 Webster +PJC]

                 He had broken down almost at the outset.
           [1913 Webster]

   To break forth, to issue; to come out suddenly, as sound,
      light, etc. "Then shall thy light break forth as the
      morning." --Isa. lviii. 8;
      [1913 Webster]

   Note: often with into in expressing or giving vent to one's
         feelings. "Break forth into singing, ye mountains."
         --Isa. xliv. 23.
         [1913 Webster]

   To break from, to go away from abruptly.
      [1913 Webster]

            This radiant from the circling crowd he broke.
      [1913 Webster]

   To break into, to enter by breaking; as, to break into a

   To break in upon, to enter or approach violently or
      unexpectedly. "This, this is he; softly awhile; let us not
      break in upon him." --Milton.

   To break loose.
       (a) To extricate one's self forcibly. "Who would not,
           finding way, break loose from hell?" --Milton.
       (b) To cast off restraint, as of morals or propriety.

   To break off.
       (a) To become separated by rupture, or with suddenness
           and violence.
       (b) To desist or cease suddenly. "Nay, forward, old man;
           do not break off so." --Shak.

   To break off from, to desist from; to abandon, as a habit.

   To break out.
       (a) To burst forth; to escape from restraint; to appear
           suddenly, as a fire or an epidemic. "For in the
           wilderness shall waters break out, and stream in the
           desert." --Isa. xxxv. 6
       (b) To show itself in cutaneous eruptions; -- said of a
       (c) To have a rash or eruption on the akin; -- said of a

   To break over, to overflow; to go beyond limits.

   To break up.
       (a) To become separated into parts or fragments; as, the
           ice break up in the rivers; the wreck will break up
           in the next storm.
       (b) To disperse. "The company breaks up." --I. Watts.

   To break upon, to discover itself suddenly to; to dawn

   To break with.
       (a) To fall out; to sever one's relations with; to part
           friendship. "It can not be the Volsces dare break
           with us." --Shak. "If she did not intend to marry
           Clive, she should have broken with him altogether."
       (b) To come to an explanation; to enter into conference;
           to speak. [Obs.] "I will break with her and with her
           father." --Shak.
           [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Break \Break\ (br[=a]k), n. [See Break, v. t., and cf. Brake
   (the instrument), Breach, Brack a crack.]
   1. An opening made by fracture or disruption.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. An interruption of continuity; change of direction; as, a
      break in a wall; a break in the deck of a ship.
      (a) (Arch.) A projection or recess from the face of a
      (b) (Elec.) An opening or displacement in the circuit,
          interrupting the electrical current.
          [1913 Webster]

   3. An interruption; a pause; as, a break in friendship; a
      break in the conversation.
      [1913 Webster]

   4. An interruption in continuity in writing or printing, as
      where there is an omission, an unfilled line, etc.
      [1913 Webster]

            All modern trash is
            Set forth with numerous breaks and dashes. --Swift.
      [1913 Webster]

   5. The first appearing, as of light in the morning; the dawn;
      as, the break of day; the break of dawn.
      [1913 Webster]

   6. A large four-wheeled carriage, having a straight body and
      calash top, with the driver's seat in front and the
      footman's behind.
      [1913 Webster]

   7. A device for checking motion, or for measuring friction.
      See Brake, n. 9 & 10.
      [1913 Webster]

   8. (Teleg.) See Commutator.
      [1913 Webster]
Feedback Form