break even

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Related to break-even point: fixed costs, Break-even analysis

break even

for income to equal expenses. (This implies that money was not made or lost.) Unfortunately, my business just managed to break even last year. I made a bad investment, but I broke even.
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break even

to earn as much money as you spent Some of the books we publish do not sell enough copies to break even.
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break even

if a person or a business breaks even, they do not make or lose any money from their business After a bad year in 1995, the company just about broke even in 1996.
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break even

Neither gain nor lose in some venture, recoup the amount one invested. For example, If the dealer sells five cars a week, he'll break even. This expression probably came from one or another card game (some authorities say it was faro), where it meant to bet that a card would win and lose an equal number of times. It soon was transferred to balancing business gains and losses. Novelist Sinclair Lewis so used it in Our Mr. Wrenn (1914). The usage gave rise to the noun break-even point, for the amount of sales or production needed for a firm to recoup its investment. [Late 1800s]
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break even

To gain an amount equal to that invested, as in a commercial venture.
See also: break, even
References in periodicals archive ?
The effectiveness of a reconstruction can be evaluated using the break-even point analysis method once reconstruction and production costs are added together.
This changes the above break-even point dramatically, and by much more than 50 percent.
The lowest break-even point occurs when the 28% marginal tax rate begins.
The break-even point is $150,000/($7,000 - $4,000) = 50 participants.
It also can be used by management to recognize the effect of overhead costs upon the cost break-even point and profits for various products.
The new break-even point now becomes $400,000 in new business to be generated.
The United Recycling subsidiary, a manufacturer of products from recycled carpeting, continued in a development stage through most of the year but is steadily increasing sales volume as needed to reach a break-even point and operating profit.
Although entrepreneurs often fail to realize the significance of recognizing and reaching the break-even point in the financial cycle, understanding what it takes to break even is critical to making any business profitable.
It was estimated that the auction house would realize sales of only $5 million this year, $5 million short of the break-even point.
Although we have posted a net loss for the first two quarters of 2006, we have successfully transitioned enough production into our new Mexico facility that we are now operating at slightly better than break-even point beginning in March 2006, just six months after the purchase.
The domestic box office break-even point for Vinton's films can be as low as $25 million when factored with ancillary revenue from home video and consumer products, he said.
According to the company, the airlines' break-even point is achieved with an occupancy rate of 25 percent.
500 (121-172-45-4) and six games above the break-even point (94-88-25) after the hiatus.
In the past, debit installation growth in stores with multiple lanes has been modest, largely as a result of a high break-even point per lane.