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Synonyms of break in English:


  • 1 the mirror fell to the floor, where it broke into pieces
    shatter, smash, smash to smithereens, crack, snap, fracture, fragment, splinter;
    disintegrate, fall to bits, fall to pieces;
    split, burst, blow out;
    tear, rend, sever, rupture, separate, divide
    informal bust
    rare shiver
    [Antonyms] repair, mend
  • 2 she had broken her leg in two places
    fracture, crack, smash
  • 3 the bite had barely broken the skin
    pierce, puncture, penetrate, perforate;
    cut, graze, make a flesh wound in
  • 4 the machine has broken and they can't fix it until next week
    stop working, cease to work/function, break down, go wrong, give out, develop a fault, malfunction, be damaged, be unusable;
    informal go kaput, go/be on the blink, die, give up the ghost, conk out, go phut, go haywire, have had it
    British informal pack up
  • 5 the council will prosecute traders who break the law
    contravene, violate, fail to comply with, fail to observe, disobey, infringe, breach, commit a breach of, transgress against;
    Law  infract
    [Antonyms] keep, abide by
  • 6 his concentration was broken by a sound
    interrupt, disturb, interfere with
  • 7 at mid-morning they broke for coffee
    stop, pause, take/have a break, have a rest;
    recess, suspend proceedings
    informal knock off, take/have a breather, take five
    [Antonyms] resume
  • 8 he landed on a pile of carpets which broke his fall
    cushion, lessen/reduce/soften the impact of, take the edge off, diminish, moderate, mitigate
  • 9 the film broke box-office records
    exceed, surpass, beat, better, cap, top, trump, outdo, outstrip, go beyond, eclipse, put in the shade
    informal leave standing
  • 10 deeply established habits are very difficult to break
    give up, relinquish, drop, get out of
    informal kick, shake, pack in, quit
  • 11 the strategies used to break the union
    destroy, crush, smash, quash, defeat, vanquish, overcome, overpower, overwhelm, cripple, bring someone to their knees;
    weaken, enfeeble, sap, suppress, subdue, cow, dispirit, impair, undermine, demoralize, incapacitate, extinguish
  • 12 her self-control finally broke
    give way, collapse, crack, be overcome, give in, cave in, yield, crumple, go to pieces
  • 13 four thousand pounds wouldn't break him
    bankrupt, make bankrupt, ruin, reduce to penury, reduce to nothing, pauperize
  • 14 he tried to break the news gently
    announce, tell, impart, make public, make known, release, proclaim
  • 15 Krycek managed to break the encryption code
  • 16 the day broke fair and cloudless
    dawn, begin, start, come into being, come forth, emerge, appear
  • 17 a political scandal broke in mid-1991
    erupt, burst out, break out
  • 18 overnight, the weather broke
    change, undergo a change, alter, shift, metamorphose
  • 19 waves broke against the rocks
    crash, dash, beat, pound, lash;
  • 20 her voice broke as she relived the experience
    falter, quaver, quiver, tremble, shake
  • Phrases

    break away
  • 1 Anna attempted to break away, but he held her tight
    escape, get away, run away, make a break for it, make a run for it, run for it, make one's getaway, flee, make off;
    break free, break loose, get out of someone's clutches
  • 2 a group of intellectuals broke away from the Party to form the Democratic Alliance
    leave, secede from, break with, split with, split off from, separate (oneself) from, detach oneself from, part company with, disaffiliate from, defect from, desert;
    form a splinter group
  • break down
  • 1 his van broke down
    stop working, cease to work/function, go wrong, seize up, give out, develop a fault
    informal conk out, go kaput, go on the blink, die, give up the ghost, go phut, have had it
    British informal pack up
  • 2 pay negotiations with management broke down
    fail, collapse, come to nothing, founder, fall through, come to grief, be unsuccessful, not succeed, disintegrate
    informal fizzle out
  • 3 Vicky broke down, sobbing loudly
    burst into tears, dissolve into tears;
    lose control, be overcome, collapse, go to pieces, come apart at the seams, crumble, disintegrate
  • break something down
  • 1 they had to get the police to break the door down
    knock down, kick down, stave in, smash in, pull down, tear down, demolish, destroy
    informal bust
  • 2 break big tasks down into smaller, more manageable parts
    divide, separate
  • 3 graphs show how the information can be broken down
    analyse, categorize, classify, sort out, itemize, organize;
    examine, investigate
    rare anatomize
  • break in
  • 1 thieves broke in and took her cheque book
    commit burglary, break and enter;
    force one's way in, burst in
    British archaic crack a crib
  • 2 ‘I don't want to interfere,’ Mrs Hendry broke in
    interrupt, butt in, cut in, interject, interpose, intervene, chime in;
    interfere, put one's oar in, have one's say
    British informal chip in
  • break someone in
    there was no time to break in a new foreign minister
    train, prepare, prime, initiate, condition
    informal show someone the ropes
    break into
  • 1 £1,500 was stolen when thieves broke into a house in Perth Street
    burgle, rob;
    force one's way into, burst into
  • 2 Phil broke into the discussion
    interrupt, butt into, cut in on, intervene in;
    British  put one's pennyworth in;
    North American  put one's two cents in
  • 3 he broke into a song
    begin suddenly, burst into, launch into
  • break off
    the fuselage had broken off just behind the pilot's seat
    snap off, come off, become detached, become separated, become severed
    break something off
  • 1 I broke off a branch from one of the trees
    snap off, pull off, sever, detach, separate
    rare dissever
  • 2 Britain threatened to break off diplomatic relations
    end, bring to an end, terminate, put an end to, call a halt to, stop, cease, finish, dissolve;
    informal pull the plug on
    archaic sunder
  • break out
  • 1 he broke out of jail
    escape from, make one's escape from, break loose from, burst out of, abscond from, flee from;
    get free
  • 2 fighting broke out between rival army units
    flare up, start/begin suddenly, erupt, burst out, blow up, set in
  • break up
  • 1 after about an hour, the meeting broke up
    come to an end, end, finish, stop, terminate;
    adjourn, recess
  • 2 the crowd began to break up
    disperse, scatter, go/move in different directions, go separate ways, disband, separate, part company
  • 3 Danny and I broke up last year
    split up, separate, part, stop living together, part company, reach a parting of the ways, become estranged;
    divorce, get divorced, get a divorce
    British informal bust up
  • 4 informal the whole cast broke up
    burst out laughing, start to laugh, roar with laughter, dissolve into laughter, shake with laughter, laugh uncontrollably, guffaw, be doubled up, split one's sides, hold one's sides
    informal fall about, be in stitches, crack up, crease up, be creased up, be rolling in the aisles, laugh like a drain
  • break something up
  • 1 police tried to break up a crowd of about 10,000 people
  • 2 I'm not going to let you break up my marriage
    put an end to, bring to an end, destroy, wreck, ruin
  • noun

    Back to top  
  • 1 the magazine has been published without a break since 1950
    interruption, interval, gap, hiatus, lapse of time, lacuna;
    discontinuation, discontinuance, discontinuity, suspension, disruption, cut-off;
    stop, stoppage, cessation;
    Prosody  caesura
    archaic surcease
  • 2 a break in the weather
    change, alteration, variation
  • 3 let's have a break and get something to eat
    stop, pause;
    informal breather, let-up, time out, downtime
    Australian/New Zealand informal smoko
  • 4 a weekend break
    holiday, time off, period of leave;
    North American  vacation
    informal vac, staycation
    North American informal vacay
  • 5 a break in diplomatic relations
  • 6 a break in the wall
  • 7 informal she got her first break in 1951, with Broadway's ‘Gigi’
    opportunity, stroke of luck, chance, opening, foot in the door
  • Choose the right word

    break, holiday, vacation
    See holiday
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