Headway Word of the Week

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break (verb)


If you break something, you damage it or separate it into two or more pieces.

  • He dropped the vase and broke it.
  • She broke her leg playing football.
  • My camera is broken so I can't take any photos.
  • I broke the chocolate into pieces and gave everyone a piece.

Check out collocations

  • If you break the law, you commit a crime.
  • If you break an agreement or contract, you fail to meet the requirements you agreed to.
  • If someone breaks your will or spirit, then you lose your determination or confidence.
  • If you break a deadlock, then you finally make progress in a situation where nobody was able to agree on a solution.
  • If you break your ties with an organisation, then you no longer belong to it.
  • If you break your silence, then you talk about something after refusing to talk about it for a long time.
  • If you break the 100 metres world record, then you run faster than anyone ever has before.
  • If you break someone's heart, then you make them sad because you no longer love them anymore.

Check out things that break

The weather breaks when it suddenly changes from good to bad.

Day breaks when the sun rises above the horizon

Waves break on the shore when they turn white.

A boy's voice breaks when it goes deeper, and he becomes a man

Check out phrasal verbs

  • break down
    ( = stop working)
    My car has broken down. I'll have to call a mechanic.
  • break down
    ( = lose control of your emotions)
    He was so upset that he broke down in tears.
  • break into
    ( = enter a building by force)
    The burglars broke into the house and stole two paintings.
  • break out
    ( = suddenly start)
    The peace conference failed, and war broke out.
  • break up
    ( = end a relationship)
    Sue and Andy had been going out for six months, but, unfortunately, they've broken up.

Check out other related words

  • smash
  • crack
  • destroy
  • snap

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