• "They burnt the Shakespeare, breaking the spell."
    "They burnt the Shakespeare, breaking the spell."
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n breaking the act of breaking something "the breakage was unavoidable"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

A dog breaks a hole through ice to get a drink A dog breaks a hole through ice to get a drink
A little boy sails boats in a pail of water, beside a woman who has taken a break from her spinning A little boy sails boats in a pail of water, beside a woman who has taken a break from her spinning
He Would Break Me up Into Bones, and Throw Me Into a Pile 246 He Would Break Me up Into Bones, and Throw Me Into a Pile 246
Breaking it Gently Breaking it Gently
Blazing the trail by bending down and breaking branches Blazing the trail by bending down and breaking branches
Breaking a Death-Clutch from Behind Breaking a Death-Clutch from Behind
Breaking a Death-Clutch from the Front Breaking a Death-Clutch from the Front

Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: If a cockroach breaks a leg it can grow another one
    • n breaking In worsted-manuf., the process of uniting the short slivers, as received from the comber, into one continuous rope or sliver, by doubling and running through drawing-webs.
    • n breaking [Imitation of German brechung.] In philology, the change of one vowel to two before certain consonants, as, in Anglo-Saxon (where the phenomenon abounds), earm for *arm, arm, eorthe for *erthe, earth, etc.
    • ***


  • George Herbert
    “He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass if he would ever reach heaven; for everyone has need to be forgiven.”
  • Julie Holz
    Julie Holz
    “The only way not to break a friendship is not to drop it.”
  • Jewish Proverb
    Jewish Proverb
    “If God lived on earth, people would break his windows.”
  • Benjamin Franklin
    “It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Break a bad habit -- drop it”
  • Theodosia Garrison
    Theodosia Garrison
    “The hardest habit of all to break is the terrible habit of happiness.”


Break a leg - This idiom is a way of wishing someone good luck.
Break even - If you break even, you don't make any money, but you don't lose any either.
Break ground - If you break ground, or break new ground, you make progress, taking things into a new area or going further than anyone has gone before.'Ground-breaking' is used an adjective.
Break the back of the beast - If you break the back of the beast, you accomplish a challenge.
Break the ice - When you break the ice, you get over any initial embarrassment or shyness when you meet someone for the first time and start conversing.
Break your duck - (UK) If you break your duck, you do something for the first time.
Break your heart - If someone upsets you greatly, they break your heart, especially if they end a relationship.
Clean break - If you make a clean break, you break away completely from something.
Make or break - A make or break decision, stage, etc, is a crucial one that will determine the success or failure of the whole venture.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me - To be resistant to criticism. This is often said to young children upset over the fact that another child called them something that they did not like.
You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs - This idiom means that in order to achieve something or make progress, there are often losers in the process.


In literature:

So I break into fragments every violin I find.
"Debts of Honor" by Maurus Jókai
The land hereabouts ceases to be fertile, and breaks away into heath and common ground.
"Orley Farm" by Anthony Trollope
Her heart is nigh to breaking.
"The Death Shot" by Mayne Reid
Nor did she give Kate a chance to break the ice of acquaintance before starting.
"Laramie Holds the Range" by Frank H. Spearman
As I saw the heavy surf breaking ahead of us, I felt great anxiety for what might occur.
"In the Wilds of Africa" by W.H.G. Kingston
If he was quiet, and did not break any of her things, she did not scold him.
"Taking Tales" by W.H.G. Kingston
We had to make our break though.
"The Man Next Door" by Emerson Hough
Marcel wait while river him break, then long-piece 'way river break too.
"The Heart of Unaga" by Ridgwell Cullum
Break me, O Lord, even as the ploughshare breaks the reluctant clod.
"The History of Sir Richard Calmady" by Lucas Malet
Sometimes the fleece will retain its fleece form, but usually it breaks up.
"Textiles" by William H. Dooley
It would take slow, back-breaking labor, and time, and the action of the seasons to make the prairie bloom.
"Land of the Burnt Thigh" by Edith Eudora Kohl
You'll be happier, though, if you do; it would break some of the monotony.
"The Snowshoe Trail" by Edison Marshall
Would a break come, or would the affair go on eternally?
"The Pagan Madonna" by Harold MacGrath
So you do not know that it is necessary for fishermen to break the law sometimes to get fish.
"El Diablo" by Brayton Norton
Break bread or roll, and spread with butter only the piece which you are about to eat.
"Scouting For Girls, Official Handbook of the Girl Scouts" by Girl Scouts
It would be comical, he thought, were he not in danger of breaking his neck.
"The Saracen: The Holy War" by Robert Shea
A customs officer tried to break through the mob, but somehow was held back.
"Peter the Brazen" by George F. Worts
It was hard for Mary to break the silence.
"The Eye of Dread" by Payne Erskine
Or see her break her heart tryin' to make a livin' on one of these rock hills?
"The Shepherd of the North" by Richard Aumerle Maher
There are many pseudo-heroines who intend to do so, but break down.
"Marion Fay" by Anthony Trollope

In poetry:

On a summer night,
I wonder if I should to bed, and then
A cuckoo
Gives a single cry and
Bright dawn breaks.
"On a summer night" by Ki no Tsurayuki
Now, ere the morning break,
Would that my head found rest
Upon thy halcyon breast
To sleep, and not to wake.
"Before Dawn" by Clark Ashton Smith
He who of my heart could make
Hollow crystal where his face
Like a passion had its place
Holy and then break!
"Perle Des Jardins" by Madison Julius Cawein
GOOD-BY, my dear, good-by–
You woke my heart to break it,
So if another take it
Why need you turn or sigh?
"Song: Kind Adieu" by Margaret Widdemer
Turf-sod and tombstone drear
Part human company;
One heart breaks only—here,
But that heart was worthy thee!
"Warning And Reply" by Emily Jane Bronte
The shameless nameless love that makes
Hell’s iron gin
Shut on you like a trap that breaks
The soul, Faustine.
"Faustine" by Algernon Charles Swinburne

In news:

Sam the Record Man dies at 92. Notable deaths in TV 2012, A-M. 'Breaking and Entering': Babbling to the breaking point.
Breaking Amish Plans a Bachelor Party .
Moving for love, Breaking up for a bachelor party , Incessant throat clearing, Revealing your 'number,' Greedy grandkids, 'I will never ___,' Chilling out for the holidays.
Wednesday's Break Room For 'Afternoon Shift': The Olivia Tremor Control, Passion Pit, and a tribute to the late Bill Doss.
How to break a backboard.
Backhoe used to break into Phillips family pawnshop.
Surveillance video shows a suspected thief smashing through the wall of a store in Louisiana to break into an ATM.
Nicole Kidman Shows Off Her Toned Tush While Breaking A Sweat.
Maybe wait until after you land a straight backside air before trying this at your local break.
But Venter and his colleagues knew that the many copies of the bacterial chromosome wouldn't all break apart in exactly the same way.
Get the latest/breaking news,featuring national security,science and courts.
The Big Secret of 'Breaking Bad': Walter White Was Always a Bad Guy .
I gave good advice, which led to said friend breaking up with her boyfriend.
Motley Crue's Vince Neil breaks foot during Blossom show.
Hard to shake the feeling of a Badger State break up.

In science:

Summing up the results of the present work, we would like to emphasize that the spontaneous breaking of Lorentz symmetry does not necessarily signify the breaking of relativistic symmetry and may turn out to be a secondary effect induced by the spontaneous breaking of gauge symmetry.
Concerning the generalized Lorentz symmetry and the generalization of the Dirac equation
As before, we add an extra term to the action which breaks the gauge symmetry down to SO(4) gauge symmetry and also breaks translational symmetry.
Quantum gravity in terms of topological observables
The bond breaks irreversibly, whenever the force in the spring exceeds the breaking threshold force value, t, of the spring.
Statistical properties of fracture in a random spring model
In contrast to , we do not assume that the orbits are torsion-free and we allow the modules to have some inner breaks, as long as they do not have any so called proper inner breaks (see Definition 3.7).
Locally finite simple weight modules over twisted generalized Weyl algebras
However we have the following example of a TGWA A and a simple weight module M over A which has no proper inner breaks, and thus is canonical by Corollary 3.10, but nonetheless has an inner break.
Locally finite simple weight modules over twisted generalized Weyl algebras
Therefore the moduli potential is flat in perturbation theory and only lifted by non-perturbative effects or supersymmetry breaking, which induces masses of moduli fields around the supersymmetry-breaking scale.
Bottom-Up Approach to Moduli Dynamics in Heavy Gravitino Scenario : Superpotential, Soft Terms and Sparticle Mass Spectrum
Visible sector scalars such as squarks and sleptons generally receive non-holomorphic supersymmetry-breaking masses from their couplings to supersymmetry-breaking fields.
Bottom-Up Approach to Moduli Dynamics in Heavy Gravitino Scenario : Superpotential, Soft Terms and Sparticle Mass Spectrum
We have defined as usual the soft-breaking parameters A’s and B ’s as the ratios of couplings between supersymmetric and corresponding supersymmetry-breaking terms.
Bottom-Up Approach to Moduli Dynamics in Heavy Gravitino Scenario : Superpotential, Soft Terms and Sparticle Mass Spectrum
Another way to allow larger values of ǫ would be by turning on a small breaking of the custodial symmetry in the CFT sector, in order to break the correlation between the mass of the b′ and mt .
The Minimal Composite Higgs Model and Electroweak Precision Tests
Let PN (σ) represents the probability that a system of N fibers break when an initial force equal to N σ is applied and QN (σ) = 1 − PN (σ) is the probability that the bundle does not break because of initial load N σ .
Critical behaviour of mixed random fibers, fibers on a chain and random graph
Although the most simple symmetry breaking mechanism mentioned in the section 4 does not meet some of the basic experimental requirements, it was concluded that a simple symmetry breaking of SU (2) dual-spin group to its U (1) duality subgroup could reduce space-time symmetry to conformal symmetry.
Algebraic Approach to the Duality Symmetry
The N = 2 Lagrangian explicitly breaks the non-abelian chiral symmetry down to its vector subgroup due to a Yukawa coupling, so the chiral symmetry breaking we are analyzing is a breaking of U (1)A × U (1)B down to U (1)B as in Nf = 1 QCD.
Chiral Transition of N=4 Super Yang-Mills with Flavor on a 3-Sphere
From the field theory point of view, these hypers may be massive without breaking supersymmetry although of course this will break conformal invariance.
Chiral Transition of N=4 Super Yang-Mills with Flavor on a 3-Sphere
When no lines were present and the 4000˚A-break was detected, the location of the break was used to determine the redshift.
Spectroscopic Survey of 1.4 GHz and 24 Micron Sources in the Spitzer First Look Survey with WIYN/Hydra
This is an example of ergodicity breaking (for a clarifying discussion of ergodicity breaking in magnetic systems, see Chapter 2 of ). A final remark concerning the nature of the phase transition.
Theoretical analysis of optimization problems - Some properties of random k-SAT and k-XORSAT