The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
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.
2. To open spontaneously, or by pressure from within, as a
bubble, a tumor, a seed vessel, a bag.
Else the bottle break, and the wine runneth out.
3. To burst forth; to make its way; to come to view; to
appear; to dawn.
The day begins to break, and night is fled. --Shak.
And from the turf a fountain broke,
and gurgled at our feet. --Wordsworth.
4. To burst forth violently, as a storm.
The clouds are still above; and, while I speak,
A second deluge o'er our head may break. --Dryden.
5. To open up; to be scattered; to be dissipated; as, the
clouds are breaking.
At length the darkness begins to break. --Macaulay.
6. To become weakened in constitution or faculties; to lose
health or strength.
See how the dean begins to break;
Poor gentleman! he droops apace. --Swift.
7. To be crushed, or overwhelmed with sorrow or grief; as, my
heart is breaking.
8. To fall in business; to become bankrupt.
He that puts all upon adventures doth oftentimes
break, and come to poverty. --Bacn.
9. To make an abrupt or sudden change; to change the gait;
as, to break into a run or gallop.
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
11. To fall out; to terminate friendship.
To break upon the score of danger or expense is to
be mean and narrow-spirited. --Collier.
Note: With prepositions or adverbs:
To break away, to disengage one's self abruptly; to come or
go away against resistance.
Fear me not, man; I will not break away. --Shak.
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
(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.
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;
Note: often with into in expressing or giving vent to one's
feelings. "Break forth into singing, ye mountains."
--Isa. xliv. 23.
To break from, to go away from abruptly.
This radiant from the circling crowd he broke.
To break into, to enter by breaking; as, to break into a
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
(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
(c) To have a rash or eruption on the akin; -- said of a
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
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."
(b) To come to an explanation; to enter into conference;
to speak. [Obs.] "I will break with her and with her