Last modified on 23 September 2014, at 05:01

break up


Alternative formsEdit


break up (third-person singular simple present breaks up, present participle breaking up, simple past broke up, past participle broken up)

  1. (intransitive) To break or separate into pieces; to disintegrate or come apart.
    It broke up when it hit the ground.
  2. (intransitive, idiomatic) To end a relationship.
    She broke up with her boyfriend last week.
  3. (intransitive, idiomatic) To dissolve; to part.
    The meeting finally broke up after a three-hour discussion.
    • 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet Chapter 4
      So the meeting broke up, and the torchlight grew dimmer, and died away as it had come in a red flicker on the roof, and the footsteps sounded fainter as they went up the passage, until the vault was left to the dead men and me.
  4. (intransitive, idiomatic) Of a school, to close for the holidays at the end of term.
  5. (intransitive, idiomatic) Of a telephone conversation, to cease to be understandable because of a bad connection.
    You're breaking up. Can you repeat that?
  6. (transitive) To break or separate into pieces.
    Break up the cheese and put it in the salad.
  7. (transitive, idiomatic) To stop a fight; to separate people who are fighting.
    The police came in to break up the disturbance.
  8. (intransitive, idiomatic, figuratively) Become disorganised
    • 2011 September 18, Ben Dirs, “Rugby World Cup 2011: England 41-10 Georgia”, BBC Sport:
      England's superior conditioning began to show in the final quarter and as the game began to break up, their three-quarters began to stamp their authority on the game. And when Foden went on a mazy run from inside his own 22 and put Ashton in for a long-range try, any threat of an upset was when and truly snuffed out.


See alsoEdit