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break (v.)

古英语 brecan “将固体物质猛烈地分割成部分或碎片; 伤害, 违反(承诺等), 破坏, 缩减; 闯入, 冲入; 迸发, 涌出; 制服, 驯服” (第四类强动词; 过去时 bræc, 过去分词 brocen), 来自古日耳曼语 *brekanan (也是古弗里斯兰语 breka, 荷兰语 breken, 古高德语 brehhan, 德语 brechen, 哥特语 brikan), 来自PIE词根 *bhreg- “打破”.

breach (n.), brake (n. 1), brick (n.) 密切相关. 旧的过去式 brake 已经过时或古旧; 过去分词是 broken, 但缩短形式 broke 从14世纪开始有证据, 并且是“极其常见的” [OED] 17世纪-18世纪.

古英语中的骨头. 以前也指布, 纸等. 意为“打破围墙逃跑” 是从14世纪末开始的 不动词意义“在某种力量的作用下被或变得分离成碎片或部分” 是从12世纪末开始的 意为“减少, 损害” 是从15世纪末开始的 意为“作第一次和部分的披露” 是从13世纪初开始的 意为“以任何方式破坏连续性或完整性” 是从1741年开始的. 对钱币或纸币的意思是“兑换成较小单位的货币”, 到1882年. 在指心脏方面从13世纪初开始(不定式); 以 break (someone's) heart 是14世纪末

Break bread “同食” 是14世纪末的To break ground 是从1670年代作为“挖, 犁,” 从1709年在形象意义上“开始执行一个计划”. To break the ice “克服新相识时的拘束感” 出自17世纪, 指陌生人相遇时的“冷淡”. Break wind 最早见于1550年代. 以 break (something) out (19世纪90年代) 可能是码头工作中的形象, 卸货前释放货物.

讽刺性的好运公式 break a leg (到1948年, 据说至少是20世纪20年代的) 在德语 Hals- und Beinbruch “扭断你的脖子和腿” 和意大利语 in bocca al lupo “扭断你的脖子和腿” 有相似之处. 这是一种高度迷信的工艺的证据(见 Macbeth). 根据Farmer & Henley的说法, 在17世纪, 这一表达方式被委婉地用来形容一个女人, “有一个私生子”.

break (n.)

14世纪, “打破, 强行中断或分离的行为”, 出自 break (五). 在 break of day “早晨光的第一次出现” 的意义来自1580年代; “突然的, 明显的从一个过程, 地点或状态过渡到另一个过程, 地点或状态” 的意义是到1725年. 意为“短暂的工作间隔” (原为学校的课间休息) 是1861年的. 意义为“运气的中风”, 经1911年考证, 可能是台球的形象(其中散布有序的球并开始比赛的 break, 经1865年考证). “中风” 的含义是1914年的. 爵士音乐意义上的“即兴段落, 独奏” 是从20世纪20年代开始的. 广播意义上的是到1941年.

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Definitions of break from WordNet
1
break (v.)
terminate;
break the cycle of poverty
break a lucky streak
Synonyms: interrupt
break (v.)
become separated into pieces or fragments;
The figurine broke
Synonyms: separate / split up / fall apart / come apart
break (v.)
render inoperable or ineffective;
You broke the alarm clock when you took it apart!
break (v.)
ruin completely;
Synonyms: bust
break (v.)
destroy the integrity of; usually by force; cause to separate into pieces or fragments;
He broke the glass plate
She broke the match
break (v.)
act in disregard of laws, rules, contracts, or promises;
break a law
break a promise
Synonyms: transgress / offend / infract / violate / go against / breach
break (v.)
move away or escape suddenly;
The horses broke from the stable
Nobody can break out--this prison is high security
Three inmates broke jail
Synonyms: break out / break away
break (v.)
scatter or part;
The clouds broke after the heavy downpour
break (v.)
force out or release suddenly and often violently something pent up;
break into tears
Synonyms: burst / erupt
break (v.)
prevent completion;
break off the negotiations
Synonyms: break off / discontinue / stop
break (v.)
enter someone's (virtual or real) property in an unauthorized manner, usually with the intent to steal or commit a violent act;
who broke into my account last night?
Someone broke in while I was on vacation
They broke into my car and stole my radio!
Synonyms: break in
break (v.)
make submissive, obedient, or useful;
The horse was tough to break
I broke in the new intern
Synonyms: break in
break (v.)
fail to agree with; be in violation of; as of rules or patterns;
Synonyms: violate / go against
break (v.)
surpass in excellence;
break a record
Synonyms: better
break (v.)
make known to the public information that was previously known only to a few people or that was meant to be kept a secret;
he broke the news to her
Synonyms: unwrap / disclose / let on / bring out / reveal / discover / expose / divulge / give away / let out / uncover
break (v.)
come into being;
Voices broke in the air
light broke over the horizon
break (v.)
stop operating or functioning;
The bus we travelled in broke down on the way to town
The coffee maker broke
Synonyms: fail / go bad / give way / die / give out / conk out / go / break down
break (v.)
interrupt a continued activity;
She had broken with the traditional patterns
Synonyms: break away
break (v.)
make a rupture in the ranks of the enemy or one's own by quitting or fleeing;
The ranks broke
break (v.)
curl over and fall apart in surf or foam, of waves;
The surf broke
break (v.)
lessen in force or effect;
break a fall
Synonyms: dampen / damp / soften / weaken
break (v.)
be broken in;
If the new teacher won't break, we'll add some stress
break (v.)
come to an end;
The heat wave finally broke yesterday
break (v.)
vary or interrupt a uniformity or continuity;
The flat plain was broken by tall mesas
break (v.)
cause to give up a habit;
She finally broke herself of smoking cigarettes
break (v.)
give up;
break cigarette smoking
break (v.)
come forth or begin from a state of latency;
The first winter storm broke over New York
break (v.)
happen or take place;
Things have been breaking pretty well for us in the past few months
break (v.)
cause the failure or ruin of;
His peccadilloes finally broke his marriage
This play will either make or break the playwright
break (v.)
invalidate by judicial action;
The will was broken
break (v.)
discontinue an association or relation; go different ways;
The business partners broke over a tax question
Synonyms: separate / part / split up / split / break up
break (v.)
assign to a lower position; reduce in rank;
He was broken down to Sergeant
Synonyms: demote / bump / relegate / kick downstairs
break (v.)
reduce to bankruptcy;
My daughter's fancy wedding is going to break me!
Synonyms: bankrupt / ruin / smash
break (v.)
change directions suddenly;
break (v.)
emerge from the surface of a body of water;
The whales broke
break (v.)
break down, literally or metaphorically;
The dam broke
Synonyms: collapse / fall in / cave in / give / give way / founder
break (v.)
do a break dance;
Kids were break-dancing at the street corner
Synonyms: break dance / break-dance
break (v.)
exchange for smaller units of money;
I had to break a $100 bill just to buy the candy
break (v.)
destroy the completeness of a set of related items;
The book dealer would not break the set
Synonyms: break up
break (v.)
make the opening shot that scatters the balls;
break (v.)
separate from a clinch, in boxing;
The referee broke the boxers
break (v.)
go to pieces;
The lawn mower finally broke
Synonyms: wear / wear out / bust / fall apart
break (v.)
break a piece from a whole;
break a branch from a tree
Synonyms: break off / snap off
break (v.)
become punctured or penetrated;
The skin broke
break (v.)
pierce or penetrate;
The blade broke her skin
break (v.)
be released or become known; of news;
News of her death broke in the morning
Synonyms: get out / get around
break (v.)
cease an action temporarily;
let's break for lunch
Synonyms: pause / intermit
break (v.)
interrupt the flow of current in;
break a circuit
break (v.)
undergo breaking;
The simple vowels broke in many Germanic languages
break (v.)
find a flaw in;
break an alibi
break down a proof
break (v.)
find the solution or key to;
break the code
break (v.)
change suddenly from one tone quality or register to another;
Her voice broke to a whisper when she started to talk about her children
break (v.)
happen;
Synonyms: recrudesce / develop
break (v.)
become fractured; break or crack on the surface only;
Synonyms: crack / check
break (v.)
crack; of the male voice in puberty;
his voice is breaking--he should no longer sing in the choir
break (v.)
fall sharply;
stock prices broke
break (v.)
fracture a bone of;
I broke my foot while playing hockey
Synonyms: fracture
break (v.)
diminish or discontinue abruptly;
The patient's fever broke last night
break (v.)
weaken or destroy in spirit or body;
His resistance was broken
a man broken by the terrible experience of near-death
2
break (n.)
some abrupt occurrence that interrupts an ongoing activity;
there was a break in the action when a player was hurt
Synonyms: interruption
break (n.)
an unexpected piece of good luck;
he finally got his big break
Synonyms: good luck / happy chance
break (n.)
(geology) a crack in the earth's crust resulting from the displacement of one side with respect to the other;
Synonyms: fault / faulting / geological fault / shift / fracture
break (n.)
a personal or social separation (as between opposing factions);
they hoped to avoid a break in relations
Synonyms: rupture / breach / severance / rift / falling out
break (n.)
a pause from doing something (as work);
we took a 10-minute break
Synonyms: respite / recess / time out
break (n.)
the act of breaking something;
Synonyms: breakage / breaking
break (n.)
a time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of something;
break (n.)
breaking of hard tissue such as bone;
the break seems to have been caused by a fall
Synonyms: fracture
break (n.)
the occurrence of breaking;
the break in the dam threatened the valley
break (n.)
an abrupt change in the tone or register of the voice (as at puberty or due to emotion);
then there was a break in her voice
break (n.)
the opening shot that scatters the balls in billiards or pool;
break (n.)
(tennis) a score consisting of winning a game when your opponent was serving;
he was up two breaks in the second set
Synonyms: break of serve
break (n.)
an act of delaying or interrupting the continuity;
it was presented without commercial breaks
Synonyms: interruption / disruption / gap
break (n.)
a sudden dash;
he made a break for the open door
break (n.)
any frame in which a bowler fails to make a strike or spare;
the break in the eighth frame cost him the match
Synonyms: open frame
break (n.)
an escape from jail;
Synonyms: breakout / jailbreak / gaolbreak / prisonbreak / prison-breaking
From wordnet.princeton.edu