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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Break


BREAK, verb transitive preterit tense broke, [brake.obs.] participle passive broke or broken.

[Latin frango, fregi, n casual; Heb.to break to free or deliver, to separate.]

1. To part or divide by force and violence, as a solid substance; to rend apart; as, to break a band; to break a thread or a cable.

2. To burst or open by force.

The fountains of the earth were broke open.

3. To divide by piercing or penetrating; to burst forth; as, the light breaks through the clouds.

4. To make breaches or gaps by battering, as in a wall.

5. To destroy, crush, weaken, or impair, as the human body or constitution.

6. To sink; to appall or subdue; as, to break the spirits, or the passions.

7. To crush; to shatter; to dissipate the strength of, as of an army.

8. To weaken, or impair, as the faculties.

9. To tame; to train to obedience; to make tractable; as, to break a horse.

10. To make bankrupt.

11. To discard, dismiss or cashier; as, to break an officer.

12. To crack, to part or divide, as the skin; to open, as an aposteme.

13. To violate, as a contract or promise, either by a positive act contrary to the promise, or by neglect or non-fulfillment.

14. To infringe or violate, as a law, or any moral obligation, either by a positive act or by an omission of what is required.

15. To stop; to interrupt; to cause to cease; as, to break conversation; to break sleep.

16. To intercept; to check; to lessen the force of; as, to break a fall, or a blow.

17. To separate; to part; as, to break company of friendship.

18. To dissolve any union; sometimes with off; as, to break off a connection.

19. To cause to abandon; to reform or cause to reform; as, to break one of ill habits or practices.

20. To open as a purpose; to propound something new; to make a first disclosure of opinions; as, to break one's mind.

21. To frustrate; to prevent.

If plagues or earthquakes break not heaven's design.

22. To take away; as, to break the whole staff of bread. Psalms 105:1.

23. To stretch; to strain; to rack; as, to break one on the wheel.

To break the back, to strain or dislocate the vertebers with too heavy a burden; also, to disable one's fortune.

To break bulk, to begin to unload.

To break a deer, to cut it up at table.

To breakfast, to eat the first meal in the day, but used as a compound word.

To break ground, to plow.

To break ground, to dig; to open trenches.

To break the heart, to afflict grievously; to cause great sorrow or grief; to depress with sorrow or despair.

To break a jest, to utter a jest unexpected.

To break the neck, to dislocate the joints of the neck.

To break off, to put a sudden stop to; to interrupt; to discontinue.

BREAK off thy sins by righteousness. Daniel 4:27.

1. To sever; to divide; as, to break off a twig.

To break sheer, in marine language. When a ship at anchor is in a position to keep clear of the anchor, but is forced by wind or current out of that position, she breaks her sheer.

To break up, to dissolve or put an end to; as, to break up house-keeping.

1. To open or lay open; as, to break up a bed of earth.

2. To plow ground the first time, or after lying long unplowed; a common use in the U. States.

3. To separate; as, to break up a company.

4. To disband; as, to break up an army.

To break upon the wheel, to stretch and break the bones by torture upon the wheel.

To break wind, to give vent to wind from the body backward.

BREAK, verb intransitive To part; to separate; to divide in two; as, the ice breaks; a band breaks.

1. To burst; as, a storm or deluge breaks.

2. To burst, by dashing against something; as, a wave breaks upon a rock.

3. To open, as a tumor or aposteme.

4. To open, as the morning; to show the first light; to dawn.

5. To burst forth; to utter or exclaim.

6. To fail in trade or other occupation; to become bankrupt.

7. To decline in health and strength; to begin to lose the natural vigor.

8. To issue out with vehemence.

9. To make way with violence or suddenness; to rush; often with a particle; as, to break in; to break in upon, as calamities; to break over, as a flood; to break out, as a fire; to break forth, as light or a sound.

10. To come to an explanation.

I am to break with thee upon some affairs. [I believe, antiquated.]

11. To suffer an interruption of friendship; to fall out.

Be not afraid to break with traitors.

12. To faint, flag or pant.

My soul breaketh for longing to thy judgments. Psalms 119:20.

To break away, to disengage itself from; to rush from; also, to dissolve itself or dissipate, as fog or clouds.

To break forth, to issue out.

To break from, to disengage from; to depart abruptly, or with vehemence.

To break in, to enter by force; to enter unexpectedly; to intrude.

To break loose, to get free by force; to escape from confinement by violence; to shake off restraint.

To break off, to part; to divide; also, to desist suddenly.

To break off from, to part from with violence.

To break out, to issue forth; to discover itself by its effects, to arise or spring up; as, a fire breaks out; a sedition breaks out; a fever breaks out.

1. To appear in eruptions, as pustules; to have pustules, or an efflorescence on the skin, as a child breaks out. Hence we have freckle from the root of break

2. To throw off restraint, and become dissolute.

To break up, to dissolve itself and separate; as a company breaks up; a meeting breaks up; a fog breaks up; but more generally we say, fog, mist or clouds break away.

To break with, to part in enmity; to cease to be friends; as, to break with a friend or companion.

This verb carries with it its primitive sense of straining, parting, severing, bursting, often with violence, with the consequential senses of injury, defect and infirmity.

BREAK, noun A state of being open, or the act of separating; an opening made by force; an open place. It is the same word as brack, differently written and pronounced.

1. A pause; an interruption.

2. A line in writing or printing, noting a suspension of the sense, or a stop in the sentence.

3. In a ship, the break of the deck is the part where it terminates, and the descent on to the next deck below commences.

4. The first appearance of light in the morning; the dawn; as the break of day.