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Break (v. t.) 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.
Break (v. t.) To lay open as by breaking; to divide; as, to break a package of goods.
Break (v. t.) To lay open, as a purpose; to disclose, divulge, or communicate.
Break (v. t.) To infringe or violate, as an obligation, law, or promise.
Break (v. t.) 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.
Break (v. t.) To destroy the completeness of; to remove a part from; as, to break a set.
Break (v. t.) To destroy the arrangement of; to throw into disorder; to pierce; as, the cavalry were not able to break the British squares.
Break (v. t.) To shatter to pieces; to reduce to fragments.
Break (v. t.) To exchange for other money or currency of smaller denomination; as, to break a five dollar bill.
Break (v. t.) To destroy the strength, firmness, or consistency of; as, to break flax.
Break (v. t.) To weaken or impair, as health, spirit, or mind.
Break (v. t.) To diminish the force of; to lessen the shock of, as a fall or blow.
Break (v. t.) 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.
Break (v. t.) To tame; to reduce to subjection; to make tractable; to discipline; as, to break a horse to the harness or saddle.
Break (v. t.) To destroy the financial credit of; to make bankrupt; to ruin.
Break (v. t.) To destroy the official character and standing of; to cashier; to dismiss.
Break (v. i.) To come apart or divide into two or more pieces, usually with suddenness and violence; to part; to burst asunder.
Break (v. i.) To open spontaneously, or by pressure from within, as a bubble, a tumor, a seed vessel, a bag.
Break (v. i.) To burst forth; to make its way; to come to view; to appear; to dawn.
Break (v. i.) To burst forth violently, as a storm.
Break (v. i.) To open up; to be scattered; to be dissipated; as, the clouds are breaking.
Break (v. i.) To become weakened in constitution or faculties; to lose health or strength.
Break (v. i.) To be crushed, or overwhelmed with sorrow or grief; as, my heart is breaking.
Break (v. i.) To fall in business; to become bankrupt.
Break (v. i.) To make an abrupt or sudden change; to change the gait; as, to break into a run or gallop.
Break (v. i.) 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.
Break (v. i.) To fall out; to terminate friendship.
Break (v. t.) An opening made by fracture or disruption.
Break (v. t.) An interruption of continuity; change of direction; as, a break in a wall; a break in the deck of a ship.
Break (v. t.) A projection or recess from the face of a building.
Break (v. t.) An opening or displacement in the circuit, interrupting the electrical current.
Break (v. t.) An interruption; a pause; as, a break in friendship; a break in the conversation.
Break (v. t.) An interruption in continuity in writing or printing, as where there is an omission, an unfilled line, etc.
Break (v. t.) The first appearing, as of light in the morning; the dawn; as, the break of day; the break of dawn.
Break (v. t.) A large four-wheeled carriage, having a straight body and calash top, with the driver's seat in front and the footman's behind.
Break (v. t.) A device for checking motion, or for measuring friction. See Brake, n. 9 & 10.
Break (n.) See Commutator.