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break
American English: /breɪk/
British English: /breɪk/

Translation of break in Spanish:

transitive verb past tense broke past participle broken

  • 1
    (window/plate/rope)
    romper
    I've broken my pencil
    se me ha roto la punta del lápiz
    they broke a hole in the fence
    abrieron una brecha en la valla
    she broke the chocolate into four pieces
    partió el chocolate en cuatro trozos
    he broke his wrist playing rugby
    se rompió la muñeca jugando al rugby
    I broke a tooth/my nail
    se me rompió or partió un diente/la uña
    to break the back of something
    hacer la peor parte de algo
    I think we've broken the back of the job
    creo que ya tenemos hecho lo peor or la peor parte del trabajo
    Example sentences
    • The cup broke under the strain.
    • His brows creased as he tried to break a piece of chocolate and he smiled when he broke it off.
    • The crew survived, but the aircraft exploded when its payload of munitions blew up breaking the windows of many local houses in the blast.
  • 4 (put an end to)
    (deadlock/impasse)
    salir de
    (habit)
    dejar
    (drug ring)
    desarticular
    the Romans could not break their power
    los romanos no pudieron quebrantar su poder or no pudieron abatirlos
    Example sentences
    • Really wanting to break this bad habit is the first step to stopping.
    • The Canadian Cancer Society is urging smokers trying to quit to plan out how they are going to break their habit.
    • We would have to break old habits that perhaps were once useful, but don't serve their purpose anymore.
    Example sentences
    • They know that this could break the movement and we are afraid that it will work.
    • The bourgeoisie are agreed that the only solution is a dictatorship that crushes and breaks the workers' movement.
    • Government indifference and racist violence did not break the movement - in fact it radicalised it.
  • 6 (impart)to break something (to somebody)it was Sue who had to break the news to him
    le tocó a Sue darle la noticia
    they broke it to her gently
    se lo dijeron con mucho tacto
  • 7 (exceed) to break the sound barrier
    romper or atravesar la barrera del sonido
  • 8 8.1 (interrupt)
    (circuit/beam)
    cortar
    (fast/silence)
    romper
    Example sentences
    • Everyone has a part to play in breaking this vicious cycle.
    • We have to break this vicious cycle between drug dependency and crime.
    • They must start to break their sequence of drawn games and start winning consistently if they are to retain their title.
    Example sentences
    • ‘Melissa,’ said Matthew breaking the silence and speaking for the first time since the fight had started.
    • She felt it was her job to break the silence between the two.
    • A father of two has broken his silence after keeping his sighting of a ghost 15 years ago at Woodville Halls Theatre a fearful secret.
    Example sentences
    • By bouncing, the reed breaks an electrical circuit.
    • If either voltage or current is too big you could break the circuit.
    • A switch works by breaking the circuit, which stops the current.
    8.2 (split up, divide)
    (set/collection)
    deshacer
    8.3 (disrupt, upset)
    (pattern/continuity/monotony)
    romper
  • 9 (breach, pierce)
    (soil)
    roturar
    I haven't broken the skin
    no me he abierto la piel
    no me he rasguñado
    the submarine broke the surface of the water
    el submarino afloró a la superficie
  • 10 10.1 (get into)
    (safe)
    forzar
    we broke the toolbox open
    abrimos la caja de herramientas forzándola
    Example sentences
    • The maid broke the safe and stole money and jewellery.
    • They broke the safe in the Accounts Section and made away with the day's receipts.
    • If a burglar breaks the safe and steals the guns, I won't be held responsible for their criminal use because I did what I reasonably could to secure them.
    10.2 (escape from) (American English)
    (jail)
    escaparse or fugarse de
    10.3 (decipher)
    (code)
    descifrar
    Example sentences
    • We have a large exhibit on World War II cipher machines and the machines that broke the enemy's codes.
    • When all the analyses were ready, the code was broken.
    • Then you have to spend time breaking the code and making your own key, which only lets you hotwire the vehicle.
  • 11 (change) can anyone break this $50 bill?
    ¿alguien me puede cambiar este billete de 50?
    ¿alguien tiene cambio de 50?
    Example sentences
    • The hot spell had broken and now the weather was bearable again.
    • The heatwave broke and it was gorgeous running weather this morning.
    • The hot weather has definitely broken and it's jumpers before sunset, but only just before.
  • 12 (open)
    (shotgun/revolver)
    abrir

intransitive verb past tense broke past participle broken

  • 1 1.1
    (window/plate)
    romperse
    (rope/shoelace)
    romperse
    (twig/stick)
    partirse
    romperse
    quebrarse (Latin America)
    my watch broke
    se me rompió el reloj
    her tooth/nail broke
    se le rompió or partió el diente/la uña
    it broke into several pieces
    se hizo pedazos
    se rompió en varios pedazos
    it breaks into squares
    se parte en cuadrados
    1.2 (separate) the clouds are breaking
    se está despejando
    a splinter group which broke from the party
    un grupo disidente que se escindió del partido
    free 1 1 3
    1.3 (Sport)
    (boxers/fighters)
    separarse
    Example sentences
    • The ref was not between the fighters but he was instructing them to break.
    • He possibly could have cautioned him for holding and hitting as well, or he could have simply ordered them to break.
    • He said the first damaging blow came after the referee had told them to break and stop punching.
  • 2 (give in)
    (resistance)
    desmoronarse
    venirse abajo
    she broke under constant interrogation
    no resistió el constante interrogatorio
    the soldiers broke and ran
    los soldados rompieron filas y echaron a correr
    Example sentences
    • Her control broke and she hit him hard across the face.
    • The words died on her tongue, and all of her well-trained control broke.
    • Once in his room, Tony's fragile control broke, tears quickly blinding him.
  • 3 3.1 (begin)
    (storm/crisis)
    estallar
    Example sentences
    • A mild thunderstorm has just broken out over west London, minutes after I got home.
    • On the way to the airport, a colossal thunderstorm broke.
    • A huge thunderstorm broke over St. George's early this morning.
    Example sentences
    • When day broke, the summer dawn could not penetrate the leaden gloom above the city.
    • Dawn was breaking as Marie rose from her first restful night's sleep in two weeks.
    • Dawn was a few hours away but when the day broke he knew his cover wouldn't last for long.
    3.2 (change)
    (weather)
    cambiar
    his voice is breaking
    le está cambiando or mudando la voz
    his voice broke (with emotion)
    se le entrecortó la voz
    3.3 (become known)
    (story)
    hacerse público
    (scandal)
    estallar
    hacerse público
    Example sentences
    • He is said to have been regularly in tears since news of the scandal broke.
    • Since news of the scandal broke, the company has been forced to fire two of its executives and to demand the resignation of its chairman.
    • A federal investigator was on campus within 48 hours after news broke about the scandal.
  • 4 (strike)
    (wave/surf)
    romper
    the waves were breaking against the sea wall
    las olas rompían contra el dique
    Example sentences
    • Even in calm seas, the waves breaking over a reef are dangerous.
    • Turning his face towards the sea, he watched the low waves breaking on the sea wall.
    • His pace was brisk and he did not seem to appreciate the music of the sea waves breaking against the parapet.
  • 5 (adjourn)
    parar
    hacer una pausa
    to break for lunch/dinner
    parar para almorzar/cenar
  • 6 (open)
    (shotgun/revolver)
    abrirse
  • 7 (move, shift)
    trasladarse
    the action then breaks to Budapest
    entonces la acción se traslada a Budapest
  • 8 (happen) (American English) [colloquial]things are breaking well for me at the moment
    me están saliendo bien las cosas en este momento
    even1 2 2
  • 9 (in snooker, pool)
    abrir el juego
    Example sentences
    • In each rack, you break, spot anything that went in, and take cueball in hand to begin the frame.
    • Ronnie O'Sullivan breaks to get the final underway but the opening frame proves a scrappy affair lasting half-an-hour.
    • He breaks and sits down without looking where the balls have spread.

noun

  • 1 1.1 (intermission) (Radio, Television)
    Example sentences
    • And I really find that I put so much into it when I am painting that I have to take a break from it.
    • Taking a break from signing autographs, he seemed pleased with the way things had gone.
    • Students come here to eat, drink and take a break from school work.
    Example sentences
    • A moment later, the break bell rang.
    • Infant teachers who read it aloud in class were begged to continue when the bell rang for break.
    • Just as she began to mull over this new development, the bell rang for first break.
    1.2 (rest period)
    (at school) (British English)
    recreo (masculine)
    let's take a break
    tomémonos un descanso
    paremos para descansar
    hagamos una pausa
    we have a coffee break at 11
    a las 11 paramos para tomar un café
    we worked without a break
    trabajamos sin parar or descansar
    1.3 (holiday, vacation)
    vacaciones (feminine plural)
    Christmas/summer break
    vacaciones de Navidad/verano
    Example sentences
    • While the number of Irish holidaymakers enjoying short breaks or full-week stays in the region was up, there was a drop-off in visitors from abroad.
    • I know that people travel from far and wide to enjoy short breaks and long holidays in our beautiful and historic city.
    • People are taking shorter holidays so city breaks are more popular.
    1.4 (change, respite) a welcome break
    un cambio refrescante
    break from somethingI need a break from all this
    necesito descansar de todo esto
    (a holiday) necesito un cambio de aires
    give me a break! [colloquial]
    1.5 (in transmission)
    Example sentences
    • A dead light-bulb is a break in the circuit, so that will also stop the current.
    • A switch is a break in the circuit that stops the electrons from flowing.
    • The break in the electric circuit had not been closed by pressure on the trip wire.
  • 4 (chance, opportunity) [colloquial] he never got a decent break
    nunca se le presentó una buena oportunidad
    she's still looking for a break
    todavía está esperando que le cambie la suerte
    Example sentences
    • My break came in the late 1960s, when I was a senior project manager at JC Penney.
    • There were stints as a trainee barman, as a telegram boy, and in a men's clothes shop before he got his break at 17.
    • He got his break in 1944 with When Strangers Marry, a film noir and eventually a cult classic.
  • 5 (separation, rift) a break between the superpowers
    una ruptura (de relaciones) entre las superpotencias
    to make a clean break he made a break with his past life
    rompió or cortó con su pasado
    a break with tradition
    una ruptura con la tradición
    Example sentences
    • This represented a break with 1900 years of complete Christian consensus.
    • In a break with tradition, the Welsh Rugby Union has decided to make tickets for Six Nations matches available to the general public via their internet site.
    • We may need to make a break with the past and with past evidence.
  • 6 6.1 (sudden move) he made a break for cover/the door
    corrió a refugiarse/hacia la puerta
    Example sentences
    • He said it was possible that weapons used in the prison break could have been introduced to the property through the gaping fence.
    • When local residents expressed concern after the prison break, the company simply shrugged it off.
    • Up to this point, two-thirds of the way in, the focus of the film was the actual prison break.
    6.2 (breakaway)
    Example sentences
    • In the first half he made several breaks to launch English attacks.
    • A single striker was aided by breaks from the wide players whenever they dared.
    • They combined as early as the third minute, a break by the scrum half putting Dixon through a gap to score.
  • 8 (in snooker, pool)
    Example sentences
    • After scoring a break of 118 in the opening frame yesterday, he lost the next on black.
    • Equally, rather than widen pockets and make it easier for players to shoot consistently higher breaks, snooker's governing body have actually done the opposite.
    • He managed to knock in two century breaks - and a 62 for good measure - and was still outscored by his opponent.
  • 9 (beginning) [literary]at (the) break of day
    al rayar el alba [literary]
    al despuntar el día
  • 10 (solo)
    Example sentences
    • She is a fine pianist, straddling jazz, pop and classical styles, and the instrumental breaks on her debut album are solid.
    • The song, with the addition of a long instrumental solo break, drove the lyrical quality of the song to the heart.
    • Tracks on the album tend to feature brief lyric verses interspersed with longer instrumental breaks.
  • 11 (in tennis)
    Example sentences
    • He is a model of calmness on court in the third set and secures the crucial break of serve in game seven
    • The 22-year-old crawled back to 3-4 with a service break in the seventh game.
    • The final set was decided by a single break of serve in the ninth game, achieved with a spectacular running forehand down the line.

Phrasal verbs

break away

verb + adverb
1 (become free)to break away (from something/somebody)
(piece)
desprenderse (de algo)
the boat broke away from its moorings
el barco se soltó de las amarras
she tried to break away from him
trató de soltarse
to break away from traditional methods
apartarse de los métodos tradicionales
he broke away from the pack (Sport)
se adelantó al pelotón
dejó atrás al pelotón
2 (secede, leave)to break away (from something)
(faction/region)
escindirse or separarse (de algo)

break down

1verb + adverb 1.1 (stop functioning)
(vehicle/machine)
estropearse
averiarse
descomponerse (Latin America)
quedarse en pana (Chile)
quedarse varado (Colombia)
1.2 (become injured) [colloquial]
(sportsman)
lesionarse
1.3 (fail)
(talks/negotiations)
fracasar
his health broke down
perdió la salud
se enfermó (Latin America)
1.4 (lose composure)
perder el control
he broke down and cried
perdió el control y se echó a llorar
1.5 (divide into components) the total breaks down as follows
el total está compuesto or puede desglosarse de la siguiente manera
the device breaks down into sections
el dispositivo es desarmable or desmontable
2verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object 2.1
(door/fence/barrier)
echar abajo
derribar
2.2 (overcome)
(shyness)
sobreponerse a
2.3 (divide up)
(expenditure)
desglosar
(sentence)
descomponer
the process can be broken down into three very simple steps
el proceso puede dividirse en tres pasos muy sencillos
2.4 (dismantle)
(weapon/machine)
desmontar
desarmar
2.5 (Chemistry)
(substance)
descomponer

break in

1verb + adverb 1.1 (force entry)
(burglar/intruder)
entrar
meterse (para robar etc)
1.2 (Military)
penetrar en las defensas enemigas
1.3 (interrupt) to break in on something/somebodyI don't mean to break in on your conversation, but …
no es que quiera meterme en or interrumpir su conversación, pero …
sorry to break in on you like this
perdonen que interrumpa
2verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object 2.1 (train)
(horse)
domar
2.2
(shoes/boots)
ablandar
domar [humorous]
2.3 (smash down)

break into

verb + preposition + object
1 1.1 (force entry)
(building/grounds)
entrar en
meterse en (para robar etc)
our house was broken into
nos entraron a robar
nos entraron ladrones
1.2 (gain entry in)
(market/business)
entrar or introducirse en
1.3 (start on)
(banknote)
cambiar
we broke into a bottle of port I'd been saving for Christmas
abrimos una botella de oporto que tenía guardada para Navidad
they had to break into their savings
tuvieron que echar mano de sus ahorros
1.4 (encroach upon) it breaks into your spare time
te quita tiempo libre
2 (begin) to break into a run
echarse a correr
to break into applause
romper or prorrumpir en aplausos
to break into song
ponerse a cantar

break off

1verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object 1.1 (detach) she broke off a piece of chocolate and gave it to him
partió un trozo de chocolate y se lo dio
1.2 (end, stop)
(engagement/diplomatic relations)
romper
the president broke off his harangue
el presidente interrumpió su arenga
2verb + adverb 2.1 (snap off, come free)
(piece of ice)
desprenderse
the handle broke off
se le rompió or salió el asa
2.2 (stop talking)
parar (de hablar)
detenerse
callarse
she broke off in mid-sentence
paró or se detuvo or se calló en la mitad de la frase

break out

verb + adverb
1 1.1 (start)
(war/epidemic/rioting)
estallar
1.2 (appear) a rash broke out all over his face
le salió un sarpullido en la cara
beads of sweat broke out on her forehead
le aparecieron gotas de sudor en la frente
1.3 (develop)to break out (in something)he broke out in spots
le salieron granos
he broke out in a rash to break out in a sweat
empezar a sudar
the mere thought makes me break out in a cold sweat
de solo pensarlo me da un sudor frío
chocolate makes me break out (American English)
el chocolate me hace salir granos
2 (escape)
(prisoner)
escaparse
fugarse
to break out of a vicious circle
salir de or romper un círculo vicioso
they are eager to break out of their isolation
están ansiosos por salir de su aislamiento

break through

1verb + adverb 1.1 (penetrate) (Military)
penetrar en las defensas enemigas
it was late before the sun broke through
ya era tarde cuando salió el sol
1.2 (overcome major obstacle) at last we have broken through
por fin hemos abierto (el) camino
2verb + preposition + object 2.1 (penetrate)
(barrier/police cordon)
atravesar
romper
enemy forces broke through our defenses
las fuerzas enemigas penetraron en nuestras defensas
the sun broke through the clouds
el sol se abrió paso entre las nubes
2.2 (overcome) I never managed to break through his reserve
no logré que abandonara su reserva
no logré atravesar la barrera de su reserva

break up

1verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object 1.1
(ship)
desguazar
1.2 (divide)
(land/estate)
dividir
(sentence)
descomponer
break it up into four pieces
divídelo or rómpelo en cuatro pedazos
it helps break up the long mornings
ayuda a que las mañanas no parezcan tan largas
1.3 (disperse)
(demonstration)
disolver
he broke up the fight between the boys
separó a los niños que se estaban peleando
come on, break it up!
¡vamos, basta ya!
1.4 (wreck, ruin)
(home)
deshacer
he felt responsible for breaking up their marriage
se sentía responsable de su separación or del fracaso de su matrimonio
1.5 (disband)
(team/group)
desintegrar
(gang)
desarticular
2verb + adverb 2.1
(lovers/band)
separarse
their partnership broke up
se separaron
dejaron de ser socios
their marriage broke up
se separaron
su matrimonio fracasó
to break up with somebody
romper or terminar con alguien
tronar con alguien (Mexico) [colloquial]
2.2
(meeting/party)
terminar
(crowd)
dispersarse
2.3 (British English) (School)we break up on the 21st
las clases terminan el 21
las vacaciones empiezan el 22
when do you break up for Christmas?
¿cuándo empiezan las vacaciones de Navidad?
2.4 (break)
romperse
deshacerse
it broke up into tiny pieces
se deshizo
se hizo añicos

break with

verb + preposition + object
1
(lover)
romper or terminar or (Mexico) [colloquial] tronar con
2
(tradition)
romper con

Definition of break in:

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