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break

Pronunciation: /breɪk/

Translation of break in Spanish:

transitive verb/verbo transitivo (past tense of/pasado de broke past participle of/participio pasado de, broken)

  • 1 [window/plate/rope] romper*; [twig/stick] partir, romper*, quebrar* (Latin America/América Latina) 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 sth 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
  • 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.
  • 5 5.1 (ruin) [person/company] arruinar a 5.2 (crush) [person] destrozar*, deshacer* heart 2 2 spirit 1 3 will2 1 1 2 5.3 (demote) rebajar de grado, degradar
    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 sth (to sb) 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* 8.2 (split up, divide) [set/collection] deshacer*; [word] separar, dividir
    Example sentences
    • Traders who break the law by selling to children risk a £5,000 fine and six months imprisonment.
    • ‘Many doctors did not realise they were breaking the law by failing to seek the consent of relatives,’ he reported.
    • I observe how society keeps breaking the rules.
    8.3 (disrupt, upset) [pattern/continuity/monotony] 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
    • The newspapers reported that some passengers were breaking their journey at Earl's Court just to ride the escalator.
    • He has a house in Burgundy, about halfway between Tuscany and England, and it was agreed to break the journey there.
    • I broke my journey several times.
    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.
  • 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 10.2 (escape from) (American English/inglés norteamericano) [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.
    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.
  • 11 (change) cambiar 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*
    Example sentences
    • Right now, we've broken two bubble machines and have to buy a third one.
    • However, in the ensuing minutes there was an argument, during which the sewing machine got broken.
    • Someone broke the machine by jamming pencils in to it.
  • 13 (tame) [horse] domar
    Example sentences
    • When I look at her I just think that at some point her spirit was broken and then, well, this is what became of her.
    • Anne's spirit could not be broken.
    • She was going to prove he hadn't broken her spirit.

intransitive verb/verbo intransitivo (past tense of/pasado de broke past participle of/participio pasado de, broken)

  • 1 1.1 [window/plate] romperse*; [rope/shoelace] romperse*; [twig/stick] partirse, romperse*, quebrarse* (Latin America/América Latina) 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/Deporte] [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.
    Example sentences
    • He broke from the halfway line but held onto the ball too long with support on hand.
    • Six riders broke from a lead group of 15 and worked well together to maintain a healthy advantage going into the run.
    • This inspirational player broke round the blind side and was stopped just short of the try line.
    Example sentences
    • Will there emerge a spinner who breaks the ball so sharply that he needs no fielders on one side of the wicket?
    • This is done by twisting the wrist at the moment of delivery so that the ball breaks when it strikes with the pitch.
    • How much the ball breaks will often depend on the kind of pitch it is.
    Example sentences
    • From a Korean free-kick on the right, the ball breaks to Lee on the edge of the box.
    • The ball breaks to Owen on the left of the Argentinian box.
    • The ball broke among a swarm of backs and forwards.
    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.
  • 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; [day] romper*, apuntar, despuntar 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.
    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.
  • 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/inglés norteamericano) [colloquial/familiar] 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/nombre

  • 4 (chance, opportunity) [colloquial/familiar] oportunidad (feminine) 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
  • 5 (separation, rift) ruptura (feminine) a break between the superpowers una ruptura (de relaciones) entre las superpotencias to make a clean break cortar por lo sano he made a break with his past life rompió or cortó con su pasado a break with tradition una ruptura con la tradición
  • 9 (beginning) [literary/literario] at (the) break of day al rayar el alba [literary/literario], al despuntar el día

Phrasal verbs

break away

verb + adverb/verbo + adverbio
1.1 (become free) to break away (from sth/sb) [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/Deporte] se adelantó al pelotón, dejó atrás al pelotón 1.2 (secede, leave) to break away (from sth) [faction/region] escindirse or separarse (de algo)

break down

verb + adverb/verbo + adverbio 1.1 (stop functioning) [vehicle/machine] estropearse, averiarse*, descomponerse* (Latin America/América Latina) , quedarse en pana (Chile) , quedarse varado (Colombia) ; [system] fallar, venirse* abajo 1.2 (become injured) [colloquial/familiar] [sportsman] lesionarse 1.3 (fail) [talks/negotiations] fracasar his health broke down perdió la salud, se enfermó (Latin America/América Latina) 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 1.1verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object/verbo + complemento + adverbio, verbo + adverbio + complemento 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/Química] [substance] descomponer*

break in

verb + adverb/verbo + adverbio 1.1 (force entry) [burglar/intruder] entrar, meterse ([ para robar etc ]) 1.2 [Military/Militar] penetrar en las defensas enemigas 1.3 (interrupt) interrumpirto break in on sth/sb I 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 1.1verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object/verbo + complemento + adverbio, verbo + adverbio + complemento 2.1 (train) [horse] domar 2.2 [shoes/boots] ablandar, domar [humorous/humorístico] 2.3 (smash down) [door] echar abajo, derribar

break into

verb + preposition + object/verbo + preposición + complemento
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 1.1 (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

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object/verbo + complemento + adverbio, verbo + adverbio + complemento 1.1 (detach) partir 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 1.1verb + adverb/verbo + adverbio 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/verbo + adverbio
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 sth) he broke out in spots le salieron granos he broke out in a rash le salió un sarpullido 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/inglés norteamericano) el chocolate me hace salir granos 1.1 (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

verb + adverb/verbo + adverbio 1.1 (penetrate) [Military/Militar] 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 1.1verb + preposition + object/verbo + preposición + complemento 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

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object/verbo + complemento + adverbio, verbo + adverbio + complemento 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 1.1verb + adverb/verbo + adverbio 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 sb romper* or terminar con algn, tronar* con algn (Mexico/México) [colloquial/familiar] 2.2 [meeting/party] terminar; [crowd] dispersarse 2.3 (British English/inglés británico) [Sch] 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/verbo + preposición + complemento
1.1 [lover] romper* or terminar or (Mexico/México) [colloquial/familiar] tronar* con 1.2 [tradition] romper* con

Definition of break in:

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Cultural fact of the day

In Mexican politics, a prospective party candidate for the presidency is called a tapado. Candidates traditionally emerge from within the party but their identity is not revealed until the candidate is officially declared: they remain tapados (hidden), thus arousing a great deal of speculation. Under the rule of the PRI - Partido Revolucionario Institucional, its candidate was virtually guaranteed to become president.