Words related to break

breakable (adj.)
"capable of being broken," 1560s, from break (v.) + -able. As a noun, breakables is attested from 1820.
breakage (n.)
1767, "loss or damage done by breaking;" 1813, "action of breaking;" from break (v.) + -age.
also break-away, 1906 (n.), in reference to sports; 1930s (adj.) in reference to splinter groups; from the verbal phrase (attested from 1530s in the sense "disengage oneself abruptly, escape"); see break (v.) + away (adv.).
breakdown (n.)

also break-down, 1832, "a collapse, a falling apart," from the verbal phrase (attested by late 14c. in the sense "take down by breaking" (trans.); 1831 in the intransitive sense "come down by breaking; 1856 as "to fail through incapacity, excess emotion, etc."); see break (v.) + down (adv.). The noun, specifically of machinery, is from 1838; meaning "an analysis in detail" is from 1936 (from the verbal phrase in the sense "analyze, classify," 1934). Also in 19c. American English "a noisy, lively dance sometimes accompanied by singing" (1864). Nervous breakdown is from 1866.

breaker (n.)
late 12c., "one who or that which breaks;" 1680s as "heavy ocean wave," agent noun from break (v.). Related: Breakers.
break-even (adj.)
also breakeven; usually with point, 1938, from the verbal phrase (1910); see break (v.) + even (adv.). The verbal phrase in the financial sense is recorded from 1914.
breakfast (n.)

"first meal of the day," mid-15c., from the verbal phrase; see break (v.) + fast (n.). For vowel shift, see met (v.). An Old English word for it was undernmete (see undern), also morgenmete "morning meal."

Spanish almuerzo "lunch," but formerly and still locally "breakfast," is from Latin admorsus, past participle of admordere "to bite into," from ad "to" + mordēre "to bite" (see mordant). German Frühstück is from Middle High German vruostücke, literally "early bit."

In common with almuerzo, words for "breakfast" tend over time to shift in meaning toward "lunch;" compare French déjeuner "breakfast," later "lunch" (cognate of Spanish desayuno "breakfast"), from Vulgar Latin *disieiunare "to breakfast," from Latin dis- "apart, in a different direction from" + ieiunare, jejunare "fast" (see jejune; also compare dine). Greek ariston in Homer and Herodotus was a meal at the break of day but in classical times taken in the afternoon.

The long/short vowel contrast in break/breakfast represents a common pattern where words from Old English have a long vowel in their modern form but a short vowel as the first element of a compound: Christ/Christmas, holy/holiday, moon/Monday, sheep/shepherd, wild/wilderness, etc.

breakneck (adj.)
also break-neck, "extremely hazardous, likely to end in a broken neck," 1560s, from break (v.) + neck (n.).
breakout (n.)
also break-out, 1820, from the verbal phrase, "issue forth, arise, spring up;" see break (v.) + out (adv.). The verbal phrase goes back to Old English ut brecan, utabrecan. Transitive sense is attested from 1610s.
breakthrough (n.)
also break-through, 1918, in a military sense, from the verbal phrase; see break (v.) + through (adv.). The verbal phrase is attested from c. 1400 in the sense "overcome or penetrate a barrier." Meaning "abrupt solution or progress" is from 1930s, on the notion of a successful attack.

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