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.

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.

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.

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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