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2 definitions found
 for To break off
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Break \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, br[aum]kka to crack, Dan. br[ae]kke to
     break, Goth. brikan to break, L. frangere. Cf. Bray to
     pound, Breach, Fragile.]
     1. To strain apart; to sever by fracture; to divide with
        violence; as, to break a rope or chain; to break a seal;
        to break an axle; to break rocks or coal; to break a lock.
        --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. To lay open as by breaking; to divide; as, to break a
        package of goods.
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     3. To lay open, as a purpose; to disclose, divulge, or
        communicate.
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              Katharine, break thy mind to me.      --Shak.
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     4. To infringe or violate, as an obligation, law, or promise.
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              Out, out, hyena! these are thy wonted arts . . .
              To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray.
                                                    --Milton
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     5. To interrupt; to destroy the continuity of; to dissolve or
        terminate; as, to break silence; to break one's sleep; to
        break one's journey.
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              Go, release them, Ariel;
              My charms I'll break, their senses I'll restore.
                                                    --Shak.
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     6. To destroy the completeness of; to remove a part from; as,
        to break a set.
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     7. To destroy the arrangement of; to throw into disorder; to
        pierce; as, the cavalry were not able to break the British
        squares.
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     8. To shatter to pieces; to reduce to fragments.
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              The victim broke in pieces the musical instruments
              with which he had solaced the hours of captivity.
                                                    --Prescott.
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     9. To exchange for other money or currency of smaller
        denomination; as, to break a five dollar bill.
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     10. To destroy the strength, firmness, or consistency of; as,
         to break flax.
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     11. To weaken or impair, as health, spirit, or mind.
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               An old man, broken with the storms of state.
                                                    --Shak.
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     12. To diminish the force of; to lessen the shock of, as a
         fall or blow.
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               I'll rather leap down first, and break your fall.
                                                    --Dryden.
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     13. To impart, as news or information; to broach; -- with to,
         and often with a modified word implying some reserve; as,
         to break the news gently to the widow; to break a purpose
         cautiously to a friend.
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     14. To tame; to reduce to subjection; to make tractable; to
         discipline; as, to break a horse to the harness or
         saddle. "To break a colt." --Spenser.
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               Why, then thou canst not break her to the lute?
                                                    --Shak.
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     15. To destroy the financial credit of; to make bankrupt; to
         ruin.
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               With arts like these rich Matho, when he speaks,
               Attracts all fees, and little lawyers breaks.
                                                    --Dryden.
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     16. To destroy the official character and standing of; to
         cashier; to dismiss.
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               I see a great officer broken.        --Swift.
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     Note: With prepositions or adverbs: 
           [1913 Webster]
  
     To break down.
         (a) To crush; to overwhelm; as, to break down one's
             strength; to break down opposition.
         (b) To remove, or open a way through, by breaking; as, to
             break down a door or wall.
  
     To break in.
         (a) To force in; as, to break in a door.
         (b) To train; to discipline; as, a horse well broken in.
             
  
     To break of, to rid of; to cause to abandon; as, to break
        one of a habit.
  
     To break off.
         (a) To separate by breaking; as, to break off a twig.
         (b) To stop suddenly; to abandon. "Break off thy sins by
             righteousness." --Dan. iv. 27.
  
     To break open, to open by breaking. "Open the door, or I
        will break it open." --Shak.
  
     To break out, to take or force out by breaking; as, to
        break out a pane of glass.
  
     To break out a cargo, to unstow a cargo, so as to unload it
        easily.
  
     To break through.
         (a) To make an opening through, as, as by violence or the
             force of gravity; to pass violently through; as, to
             break through the enemy's lines; to break through the
             ice.
         (b) To disregard; as, to break through the ceremony.
  
     To break up.
         (a) To separate into parts; to plow (new or fallow
             ground). "Break up this capon." --Shak. "Break up
             your fallow ground." --Jer. iv. 3.
         (b) To dissolve; to put an end to. "Break up the court."
             --Shak.
  
     To break (one) all up, to unsettle or disconcert
        completely; to upset. [Colloq.]
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     Note: With an immediate object: 
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     To break the back.
         (a) To dislocate the backbone; hence, to disable totally.
         (b) To get through the worst part of; as, to break the
             back of a difficult undertaking.
  
     To break bulk, to destroy the entirety of a load by
        removing a portion of it; to begin to unload; also, to
        transfer in detail, as from boats to cars.
  
     To break a code to discover a method to convert coded
        messages into the original understandable text.
  
     To break cover, to burst forth from a protecting
        concealment, as game when hunted.
  
     To break a deer or To break a stag, to cut it up and
        apportion the parts among those entitled to a share.
  
     To break fast, to partake of food after abstinence. See
        Breakfast.
  
     To break ground.
         (a) To open the earth as for planting; to commence
             excavation, as for building, siege operations, and
             the like; as, to break ground for a foundation, a
             canal, or a railroad.
         (b) Fig.: To begin to execute any plan.
         (c) (Naut.) To release the anchor from the bottom.
  
     To break the heart, to crush or overwhelm (one) with grief.
        
  
     To break a house (Law), to remove or set aside with
        violence and a felonious intent any part of a house or of
        the fastenings provided to secure it.
  
     To break the ice, to get through first difficulties; to
        overcome obstacles and make a beginning; to introduce a
        subject.
  
     To break jail, to escape from confinement in jail, usually
        by forcible means.
  
     To break a jest, to utter a jest. "Patroclus . . . the
        livelong day breaks scurril jests." --Shak.
  
     To break joints, to lay or arrange bricks, shingles, etc.,
        so that the joints in one course shall not coincide with
        those in the preceding course.
  
     To break a lance, to engage in a tilt or contest.
  
     To break the neck, to dislocate the joints of the neck.
  
     To break no squares, to create no trouble. [Obs.]
  
     To break a path, road, etc., to open a way through
        obstacles by force or labor.
  
     To break upon a wheel, to execute or torture, as a criminal
        by stretching him upon a wheel, and breaking his limbs
        with an iron bar; -- a mode of punishment formerly
        employed in some countries.
  
     To break wind, to give vent to wind from the anus.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Syn: To dispart; rend; tear; shatter; batter; violate;
          infringe; demolish; destroy; burst; dislocate.
          [1913 Webster]

From 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.
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     2. To open spontaneously, or by pressure from within, as a
        bubble, a tumor, a seed vessel, a bag.
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              Else the bottle break, and the wine runneth out.
                                                    --Math. ix.
                                                    17.
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     3. To burst forth; to make its way; to come to view; to
        appear; to dawn.
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              The day begins to break, and night is fled. --Shak.
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              And from the turf a fountain broke,
              and gurgled at our feet.              --Wordsworth.
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     4. To burst forth violently, as a storm.
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              The clouds are still above; and, while I speak,
              A second deluge o'er our head may break. --Dryden.
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     5. To open up; to be scattered; to be dissipated; as, the
        clouds are breaking.
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              At length the darkness begins to break. --Macaulay.
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     6. To become weakened in constitution or faculties; to lose
        health or strength.
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              See how the dean begins to break;
              Poor gentleman! he droops apace.      --Swift.
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     7. To be crushed, or overwhelmed with sorrow or grief; as, my
        heart is breaking.
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     8. To fall in business; to become bankrupt.
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              He that puts all upon adventures doth oftentimes
              break, and come to poverty.           --Bacn.
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     9. To make an abrupt or sudden change; to change the gait;
        as, to break into a run or gallop.
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     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
         puberty.
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     11. To fall out; to terminate friendship.
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               To break upon the score of danger or expense is to
               be mean and narrow-spirited.         --Collier.
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     Note: With prepositions or adverbs: 
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     To break away, to disengage one's self abruptly; to come or
        go away against resistance.
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              Fear me not, man; I will not break away. --Shak.
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     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
             irreconcilable demands.
         (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.
                                                    --Thackeray.
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     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;
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     Note: often with into in expressing or giving vent to one's
           feelings. "Break forth into singing, ye mountains."
           --Isa. xliv. 23.
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     To break from, to go away from abruptly.
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              This radiant from the circling crowd he broke.
                                                    --Dryden.
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     To break into, to enter by breaking; as, to break into a
        house.
  
     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
             and violence.
         (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
             disease.
         (c) To have a rash or eruption on the akin; -- said of a
             patient.
  
     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
        upon.
  
     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."
             --Thackeray.
         (b) To come to an explanation; to enter into conference;
             to speak. [Obs.] "I will break with her and with her
             father." --Shak.
             [1913 Webster]

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