Hypertext Webster Gateway: "break"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

6. That which has been publicly achieved in any kind of
competitive sport as recorded in some authoritative
manner, as the time made by a winning horse in a race.

{Court of record} (pron. r?*k?rd" in Eng.), a court whose
acts and judicial proceedings are written on parchment or
in books for a perpetual memorial.

{Debt of record}, a debt which appears to be due by the
evidence of a court of record, as upon a judgment or a

{Trial by record}, a trial which is had when a matter of
record is pleaded, and the opposite party pleads that
there is no such record. In this case the trial is by
inspection of the record itself, no other evidence being
admissible. --Blackstone.

{To beat}, or {break}, {the record} (Sporting), to surpass
any performance of like kind as authoritatively recorded;
as, to break the record in a walking match.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Break \Break\, v. t. [imp. {broke}, (Obs. {Brake}); p. p.
{Broken}, (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["a]kka to crack, Dan. br[ae]kke to break, Goth. brikan to
break, L. frangere. Cf. {Bray} to pound, {Breach},
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.

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

3. To lay open, as a purpose; to disclose, divulge, or

Katharine, break thy mind to me. --Shak.

4. To infringe or violate, as an obligation, law, or promise.

Out, out, hyena! these are thy wonted arts . . . To
break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray. --Milton

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.

Go, release them, Ariel; My charms I'll break, their
senses I'll restore. --Shak.

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

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

8. To shatter to pieces; to reduce to fragments.

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

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

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

11. To weaken or impair, as health, spirit, or mind.

An old man, broken with the storms of state.

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

I'll rather leap down first, and break your fall.

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.

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.

Why, then thou canst not break her to the lute?

15. To destroy the financial credit of; to make bankrupt; to

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

16. To destroy the official character and standing of; to
cashier; to dismiss.

I see a great officer broken. --Swift.

Note: With prepositions or adverbs:

{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.'' --Shak.

{To break} (one) {all up}, to unsettle or disconcert
completely; to upset. [Colloq.]

Note: With an immediate object:

{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 cover}, to burst forth from a protecting
concealment, as game when hunted.

{To break a deer} or {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.

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

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Break \Break\, v. i.
1. To come apart or divide into two or more pieces, usually
with suddenness and violence; to part; to burst asunder.

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

Else the bottle break, and the wine runneth out.
--Math. ix.

3. To burst forth; to make its way; to come to view; to
appear; to dawn.

The day begins to break, and night is fled. --Shak.

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

4. To burst forth violently, as a storm.

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

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

At length the darkness begins to break. --Macaulay.

6. To become weakened in constitution or faculties; to lose
health or strength.

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

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

8. To fall in business; to become bankrupt.

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

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

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

11. To fall out; to terminate friendship.

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

Note: With prepositions or adverbs:

{To break away}, to disengage one's self abruptly; to come or
go away against resistance.

Fear me not, man; I will not break away. --Shak.

{To break down}.
(a) To come down by breaking; as, the coach broke down.
(b) To fail in any undertaking.

He had broken down almost at the outset.

{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;

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

{To break from}, to go away from abruptly.

This radiant from the circling crowd he broke.

{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.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

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

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.

3. An interruption; a pause; as, a break in friendship; a
break in the conversation.

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

All modern trash is Set forth with numerous breaks
and dashes. --Swift.

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

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.

7. A device for checking motion, or for measuring friction.
See {Brake}, n. 9 & 10.

8. (Teleg.) See {Commutator}.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: some abrupt occurrence that interrupts; "the telephone is an
annoying interruption"; "there was a break in the action
when a player was hurt" [syn: {interruption}]
2: an unexpected piece of good luck; "he finally got his big
break" [syn: {good luck}, {happy chance}]
3: (geology) a crack in the earth's crust resulting from the
displacement of one side with respect to the other; "they
built it right over a geological fault" [syn: {fault}, {geological
fault}, {shift}, {fracture}]
4: a personal or social separation (as between opposing
factions); "they hoped to avoid a break in relations"
[syn: {rupture}, {breach}, {severance}, {rift}, {falling
5: a pause from doing something (as work); "we took a 10-minute
break"; "he took time out to recuperate" [syn: {respite},
{recess}, {time out}]
6: the act of breaking something; "the breakage was
unavoidable" [syn: {breakage}, {breaking}]
7: a time interval during which there is a temporary cessation
of something [syn: {pause}, {intermission}, {interruption},
8: breaking of hard tissue such as bone; "it was a nasty
fracture"; "the break seems to have been caused by a fall"
[syn: {fracture}]
9: the occurrence of breaking; "the break in the dam threatened
the valley"
10: the opening shot that scatters the balls in billiards or
11: (tennis) a score consisting of winning a game when your
opponent was serving; "he was up two breaks in the second
set" [syn: {break of serve}]
12: an act of delaying or interrupting the continuity; "it was
presented without commercial breaks" [syn: {interruption},
{disruption}, {gap}]
13: a sudden dash; "he made a break for the open door"
14: any frame in which a bowler fails to make a strike or spare;
"the break in the eighth frame cost him the match" [syn:
{open frame}]
15: an escape from jail; "the breakout was carefully planned"
[syn: {breakout}, {jailbreak}, {gaolbreak}, {prisonbreak},
v 1: end prematurely; "She interrupted her pregnancy"; "break a
lucky streak" [syn: {interrupt}]
2: become separated into pieces or fragments; "The figurine
broke"; "The freshly baked loaf fell apart" [syn: {separate},
{split up}, {fall apart}, {come apart}]
3: destroy the integrity of; usually by force; cause to
separate into pieces or fragments; "He broke the glass
plate"; "She broke the match"
4: render inoperable or ineffective; "You broke the alarm clock
when you took it apart!"
5: ruin completely; "He busted my radio!" [syn: {bust}] [ant: {repair}]
6: act in disregard of laws and rules; "offend all laws of
humanity"; "violate the basic laws or human civilization";
"break a law" [syn: {transgress}, {offend}, {infract}, {violate},
{go against}, {breach}]
7: move away or escape suddenly; "The horses broke from the
stable"; "Three inmates broke jail" [syn: {break out}, {break
8: scatter or part; "The clouds broke after the heavy downpour"
9: force out or release suddenly and often violently something
pent up; "break into tears"; "erupt in anger" [syn: {burst},
10: prevent completion; "stop the project"; "break the silence"
[syn: {break off}, {discontinue}, {stop}]
11: enter someone's property in an unauthorized manner, usually
with the intent to steal or commit a violent act;
"Someone broke in while I was on vacation"; "They broke
into my car and stole my radio!" [syn: {break in}]
12: make submissive, obedient, or useful, as of wild animals or
new items: "The horse was tough to break"; used
metaphorically for people [syn: {break in}]
13: fail to agree with; be in violation of; as of rules or
patterns; "He violated the agreement to stay away from
his ex-wife"; "You are breaking the law!" [syn: {violate},
{go against}] [ant: {conform to}]
14: surpass in excellence; "She bettered her own record"; "break
a record" [syn: {better}]
15: make known to the public information that was previously
known only to a few people or that was meant to be kept a
secret; "The auction house would not disclose the price
at which the van Gogh had sold"; "The actress won't
reveal how old she is"; "bring out the truth"; "he broke
the news to her" [syn: {disclose}, {let on}, {bring out},
{reveal}, {discover}, {expose}, {declare}, {divulge}, {impart},
{give away}, {let out}]
16: come into being; "light broke over the horizon"; "Voices
broke in the air"
17: stop operating or functioning; "The engine finally went";
"The car died on the road"; "The bus we travelled in
broke down on the way to town"; "The coffee maker broke";
"The engine failed on the way to town"; "her eyesight
went after the accident" [syn: {fail}, {go bad}, {give
way}, {die}, {give out}, {conk out}, {go}, {break down}]
18: interrupt a continued activity; "She had broken with the
traditional patterns" [syn: {break away}]
19: make a rupture in the ranks of the enemy or one's own by
quitting or fleeing (military usage); "The ranks broke"
20: curl over and fall apart in surf or foam, of waves; "The
surf broke"
21: lessen in force or effect; "soften a shock"; "break a fall"
[syn: {dampen}, {damp}, {soften}, {weaken}]
22: be broken in; "If the new teacher won't break, we'll add
some stress"
23: come to an end; "The heat wave finally broke yesterday"
24: vary or interrupt a uniformity or continuity; "The flat
plain was broken by sharply mesas"
25: cause to give up a habit; "She finally broke herself of
smoking cigarettes"
26: give up: "break cigarette smoking"
27: come forth or begin from a state of latency; "The first
winter storm broke over New York"
28: happen or take place; "Things have been breaking pretty well
for us in the past few months" (informal)
29: cause the failure or ruin of; "His peccadilloes finally
broke his marriage"; "This play will either make or break
the playwright" [ant: {make}]
30: invalidate by judicial action; "The will was broken"
31: stop or interrupt; "He broke the engagement"; "We had to
break our plans for a trip to China"
32: divide into pieces, as by bending or cutting; "break the
loaf of bread"; "break the crackers"
33: discontinue an association or relation; go different ways;
"The business partners broke over a tax question"; "The
couple separated after 25 years of marriage"; "My friend
and I split up" [syn: {separate}, {part}, {split up}, {split},
{break up}]
34: assign to a lower position; reduce in rank; "She was demoted
because she always speaks up" [syn: {demote}, {bump}, {relegate},
{kick downstairs}] [ant: {promote}]
35: reduce to bankruptcy; "My daughter's fancy wedding is going
to break me!" [syn: {bankrupt}, {ruin}]
36: change directions suddenly
37: emerge from the surface, as of fish in water; "The whales
38: break down, literally or metaphorically; "The wall
collapsed"; "The business collapsed"; "The dam broke";
"The roof collapsed"; "The wall gave in"; "The roof
finally gave under the weight of the ice" [syn: {collapse},
{fall in}, {cave in}, {give}, {give way}, {founder}]
39: do a break dance; "Kids were break-dancing at the street
corner" [syn: {break dance}, {break-dance}]
40: exchange for smaller units of money; "I had to break a $100
bill just to buy the candy"
41: destroy the completeness of a set of related items; "The
book dealer would not break the set" [syn: {break up}]
42: make the opening shot that scatters the balls, in billiards
or pool
43: separate from a clinch, in boxing; "The referee broke the
44: go to pieces; "The lawn mower finally broke"; "The gears
wore out"; "The old chair finally fell apart completely"
[syn: {wear}, {wear out}, {bust}, {fall apart}]
45: break a piece from a whole; "break a branch from a tree"
[syn: {break off}, {snap off}]
46: pierce the surface of; "The fish broke the water"
47: become punctured or penetrated: "The skin broke"
48: pierce or penetrate; "The blade broke her skin"
49: be released or become known; of news; "News of her death
broke in the morning" [syn: {get out}, {get around}]
50: cease an action temporarily; "We pause for station
identification"; "let's break for lunch" [syn: {pause}, {intermit}]
51: interrupt the flow of current in; "break a circuit"
52: undergo breaking; "The simple vowels broke in many Germanic
53: find a flaw in: "break an alibi"
54: find the solution or key to; "break the code"
55: change suddenly from one tone quality or register to
another; "Her voice broke to a whisper when she started
to talk about her children"
56: stop and wait, as if awaiting further instructions or
developments; "Hold on a moment!"; "We broke at noon"
[syn: {hold on}, {stop}]
57: happen, as of an event; "Report the news as it develops";
"These political movements recrudesce from time to time"
[syn: {recrudesce}, {develop}]
58: become fractured; break or crack on the surface only; "The
glass cracked when it was heated" [syn: {crack}, {check}]
59: of the male voice in puberty; "his voice is breaking--he
should no longer sing in the choir"
60: fall sharply; "stock prices broke"
61: fracture a bone of: "I broke my foot while playing hockey"
[syn: {fracture}]
62: diminish or discontinue abruptly; "The patient's fever broke
last night"
63: weaken or destroy in spirit or body; "For a hero loves the
world till it breaks him"--Yeats

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