break off

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Related to break off: broke off

break off

(from something) [for a piece of something] to become separated from the whole. This broke off from the lamp. What shall I do with it? This piece broke off.
See also: break, off

break off (with someone)

 and break with someone
to end communication with someone; to break up (with someone); to end a relationship with someone, especially a romantic relationship, or to create a break between adult members of a family. Terri has broken off with Sam. We thought she would break with him pretty soon.
See also: break, off

break something off (of) something

 and break something off
to fracture or dislodge a piece off something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) He broke a piece of the decorative stone off the side of the church. He didn't mean to break off anything. This fragment was broken off of that.
See also: break, off

break something off

1. to end a relationship abruptly. I knew she was getting ready to break it off, but Tom didn't. After a few long and bitter arguments, they broke off their relationship.
2. Go to break something off (of) something.
See also: break, off

break off (something)

to end something suddenly Our third meeting broke off after an hour, but our fourth lasted three days. I just broke off with a guy I've been going out with for eight months.
See also: break, off

break off

1. Stop abruptly, as in The trade talks broke off yesterday. [First half of 1300s]
2. Separate, sever a connection, as in The baby broke off the tops of all the flowers, or The new sect has broken off from the established church. [First half of 1500s]
3. End a relationship or friendship, as in Mary broke off her engagement to Rob. [Mid-1600s]
See also: break, off

break off

1. To separate a piece of something from some whole, especially by force: We broke the icicles off the gutters of the house. I broke off a piece of chocolate and gave it to my friend. The truck hit my rearview mirror and broke it off.
2. To become separated from some whole: A large piece of ice broke off the iceberg and crashed into the water. I dropped my coffee mug and the handle broke off.
3. To stop or end suddenly. Especially used of communication: He began the first line of his speech and then mysteriously broke off. Unfortunately, the peace talks between the countries broke off.
4. To end some relationship: Although I am angry, I do not want to break off my long relationship with you. The countries broke off all diplomatic ties and went to war.
See also: break, off
References in periodicals archive ?
The school reform group, Finally Restoring Excellence in Education, has completed the first section of its long test to break off the San Fernando Valley portion of the district.
She attempted to break off the relationship and complained to friends that he was stalking her.
Guard Eric Piatkowski capped the rally, finishing a fast break off a feed from Darrick Martin to put the Clippers ahead 13-4 with 7:07 left in the opening quarter.
RJR officials Tuesday said they will sell their international tobacco business to Japan's largest tobacco company and break off domestic tobacco operations into a separate company owned by the same shareholders.
Plans call for CSUCI to break off from CSUN and become its own university in the fall of 2004.
City and federal officials said it was too early to say definitively what caused the tail rotor to break off and how much it contributed to the crash.
Though VICA has yet to take a position on whether the Valley should break off from the sprawling metropolis and form its own city, the business association does support changes to the City Charter that will give Valley residents more say in government and better services.
Riordan would not support having his Brentwood neighborhood break off from Los Angeles, according to an aide.
We are referring to the Los Angeles City Council's dictatorial power to overrule voters whenever an area of the city wants to break off from Los Angeles to become a separate city or an unincorporated region.
Some 200,000 to 300,000 icebergs break off the coast annually, but only a few massive ones are adrift at any given time.