From the use of molds to make multiple replicas of solid objects using moldable materials.
- (idiomatic) To depart from a traditional pattern; to defy convention.
1997, Theodore R. Sizer, Horace's School: Redesigning the American High School, page 12:
- President Bush joined in; his 1991 education message called for new kinds of schools, ones that "broke the mold".
- (idiomatic) To make it impossible for an identical copy to be made.
2001, Adam Troy Castro, Spiderman: Revenge of the Sinister Six:
- When they made him, they broke the mold. lt was a cliche that had been spoken about any number of men, for any number of different reasons.