break up

break up
1. Lit. [for something] to fall apart; to be broken to pieces. (Typically said of a ship breaking up on rocks.) •

In the greatest storm of the century, the ship broke up on the reef.

It broke up and sank.

2. Go to break up (with someone). 3. [for married persons] to divorce. •

After many years of bickering, they finally broke up.

4. [for a marriage] to dissolve in divorce. •

Their marriage finally broke up.

5. to begin laughing very hard. •

The comedian told a particularly good joke, and the audience broke up.

I always break up when I hear her sing. She is so bad!

* * *
{v. phr.} To end a romantic relationship, a marriage, or a business partnership. * /Tom and Jane broke up because Tom played so much golf that he had no time for her./

Dictionary of American idioms. 2013.

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 — (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-in — reak in n. an act of trespassing into a closed structure such as a house or place of busineess for an unlawful purpose, usually as part of a burglary. Syn: housebreaking, breaking and entering. [WordNet 1.5 +PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • break — I. verb (broke; broken; breaking) Etymology: Middle English breken, from Old English brecan; akin to Old High German brehhan to break, Latin frangere Date: before 12th century transitive verb 1. a. to separate into parts with suddenness or… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Break — To break is the act of damaging something.Break may also refer to: * Break (music), a percussion interlude or instrumental solo within a longer work of music * Break key, a special key on computer keyboards * Break or Break shot, the first shot… …   Wikipedia

  • Break-up — Breakup Break up , Break up Break up , n. Disruption; coming apart; a separation and dispersion of the parts or members; as, a break up of a meeting, assembly, or dinner party; the break up of a spacecraft on re entry into the atmosphere. Syn:… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • break up — verb Date: 15th century intransitive verb 1. a. to cease to exist as a unified whole ; disperse < their partnership broke up > b. to end a romance 2. to lose morale, composure, or …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • break in — verb Date: circa 1535 intransitive verb 1. to enter something (as a building or computer system) without consent or by force 2. a. intrude < break in upon his privacy > b. to …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • break-in — noun Date: 1856 1. the act or action of breaking in < a rash of break ins at the new apartment house > 2. a performance or a series of performances serving as a trial run 3. an initial period of operation during which working parts begin to …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • break-up — 1. In detection by radar, the separation of one solid return into a number of individual returns which correspond to the various objects or structure groupings. This separation is contingent upon a number of factors including range, beam width,… …   Military dictionary


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