To break off


To break off
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. 17. [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 puberty. [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. --Thackeray. [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. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

{To break into}, to enter by breaking; as, to break into a house.

{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 disease. (c) To have a rash or eruption on the akin; -- said of a patient.

{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 upon.

{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.'' --Thackeray. (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]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • break off — [v1] snap off something detach, disassemble, divide, part, pull off, separate, sever, splinter, take apart; concept 211 Ant. combine, join, mend break off [v2] end activity cease, desist, discontinue, end, finish, halt, pause, stop, suspend,… …   New thesaurus

  • break off something — break off (something) to end something suddenly. Our third meeting broke off after an hour, but our fourth lasted three days. I just broke off with a guy I ve been going out with for eight months …   New idioms dictionary

  • break off — (something) to end something suddenly. Our third meeting broke off after an hour, but our fourth lasted three days. I just broke off with a guy I ve been going out with for eight months …   New idioms dictionary

  • break off — index alienate (estrange), close (terminate), conclude (complete), detach, discontinue (abando …   Law dictionary

  • break off — ► break off abruptly end or discontinue. Main Entry: ↑break …   English terms dictionary

  • break|off — «BRAYK F, OF», noun. 1. stoppage: »the breakoff of negotiations. 2. detachment or secession; separation: »the breakoff of Singapore from Malaysia …   Useful english dictionary

  • break off — verb 1. interrupt before its natural or planned end (Freq. 2) We had to cut short our vacation • Syn: ↑cut short, ↑break short • Hypernyms: ↑interrupt, ↑break …   Useful english dictionary

  • break off — phrasal verb Word forms break off : present tense I/you/we/they break off he/she/it breaks off present participle breaking off past tense broke off past participle broken off 1) [intransitive/transitive] to stop doing something, especially… …   English dictionary

  • break off phrasal — verb 1 (I, T) to suddenly stop doing something, especially talking to someone: Fay told her story, breaking off now and then to wipe the tears from her eyes. (break sth off): I broke off the conversation and answered the phone. 2 (transitive… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • break off — 1) PHR V ERG 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 (not pron)] Grace broke off a large piece of the clay... [V n P …   English dictionary

  • break off — verb Date: 14th century intransitive verb 1. to stop abruptly < break off in the middle of a sentence > 2. to become detached < branches that broke off in the storm > 3. to end a relationship < …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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