break up

1) PHR-V-ERG When something breaks up or when you break it up, it separates or is divided into several smaller parts.

[V P] Civil war could come if the country breaks up...

[V P] There was a danger of the ship breaking up completely...

[V P n (not pron)] Break up the chocolate and melt it...

[V n P into n] He broke the bread up into chunks and gave Meer a big one...

[V n P] Tanks are strongly built. It is a complicated and difficult process to break them up.

2) PHR-V-RECIP If you break up with your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife, your relationship with that person ends.

[V P with n] My girlfriend had broken up with me...

[pl-n V P] He felt appalled by the whole idea of marriage so we broke up.

Syn:
3) PHR-V-ERG If a marriage breaks up or if someone breaks it up, the marriage ends and the partners separate.

[V P] MPs say they work too hard and that is why so many of their marriages break up...

[V P n (not pron)] Fred has given me no good reason for wanting to break up our marriage.

4) PHR-V-ERG When a meeting or gathering breaks up or when someone breaks it up, it is brought to an end and the people involved in it leave.

[V P] A neighbour asked for the music to be turned down and the party broke up...

[V P n (not pron)] Police used tear gas to break up a demonstration...

[V n P] He charged into the crowd. `Break it up,' he shouted.

Syn:
5) PHRASAL VERB When a school or the pupils in it break up, the school term ends and the pupils start their holidays. [BRIT]

[V P] It's the last week before they break up, and they're doing all kinds of Christmas things.

Ant:
6) PHRASAL VERB If you say that someone is breaking up when you are speaking to them on a mobile telephone, you mean that you can only hear parts of what they are saying because the signal is interrupted.

[V P] The line's gone; I think you're breaking up.

7) PHRASAL VERB If something breaks someone up, it causes them to lose control and begin to laugh or cry.

[V n P] Kindness breaks me up; it makes me cry.

8) See also break-up

English dictionary. 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Break — (br[=a]k), v. t. [imp. {broke} (br[=o]k), (Obs. {Brake}); p. p. {Broken} (br[=o] k n), (Obs. {Broke}); p. pr. & vb. n. {Breaking}.] [OE. breken, AS. brecan; akin to OS. brekan, D. breken, OHG. brehhan, G. brechen, Icel. braka to creak, Sw. braka …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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. [1913 Webster] 2. To open spontaneously, or by pressure from within, as a bubble, a tumor, a seed vessel, a bag …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • break — vb Break, crack, burst, bust, snap, shatter, shiver are comparable as general terms meaning fundamentally to come apart or cause to come apart. Break basically implies the operation of a stress or strain that will cause a rupture, a fracture, a… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • break — ► VERB (past broke; past part. broken) 1) separate into pieces as a result of a blow, shock, or strain. 2) make or become inoperative; stop working. 3) interrupt (a continuity, sequence, or course). 4) fail to observe (a law, regulation, or… …   English terms dictionary

  • break — [brāk] vt. broke, broken, breaking [ME breken < OE brecan < IE base * bhreg > BREACH, BREECH, Ger brechen, L frangere] 1. to cause to come apart by force; split or crack sharply into pieces; smash; burst 2. a) …   English World dictionary

  • break — / brāk/ vb broke / brōk/, bro·ken, / brō kən/, break·ing, / brā kiŋ/ vt 1 a: violate transgress break the law …   Law dictionary

  • break — [n1] fissure, opening breach, cleft, crack, discontinuity, disjunction, division, fracture, gap, gash, hole, rent, rift, rupture, schism, split, tear; concepts 230,757 Ant. association, attachment, binding, combination, fastening, juncture break… …   New thesaurus

  • Break — (br[=a]k), n. [See {Break}, v. t., and cf. {Brake} (the instrument), {Breach}, {Brack} a crack.] 1. An opening made by fracture or disruption. [1913 Webster] 2. An interruption of continuity; change of direction; as, a break in a wall; a break in …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • break-up — break ups also breakup 1) N COUNT: usu N of n, n N The break up of a marriage, relationship, or association is the act of it finishing or coming to an end because the people involved decide that it is not working successfully. Since the break up… …   English dictionary

  • break up — {v.} 1. To break into pieces. * /The workmen broke up the pavement to dig up the pipes under it./ * /River ice breaks up in the spring./ 2. {informal} To lose or destroy spirit or self control. Usually used in the passive. * /Mrs. Lawrence was… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • break up — {v.} 1. To break into pieces. * /The workmen broke up the pavement to dig up the pipes under it./ * /River ice breaks up in the spring./ 2. {informal} To lose or destroy spirit or self control. Usually used in the passive. * /Mrs. Lawrence was… …   Dictionary of American idioms

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