break off

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Related to breaks off: broke off

break off

1. To physically separate from something. Those bricks in the yard must have broken off the chimney.
2. To fail or cease abruptly. Did you hear that negotiations have broken off again?
3. To end a relationship, typically a romantic one. In this usage, a noun can be used between "break" and "off." I'm so sad to hear that Mara broke things off with John—I thought those two would be together forever.
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 (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 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

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

v.
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 ?
When the Larsen C portion of the shelf breaks off it will likely make the rest of the shelf less stable.
When ice flows past the grounding line, it either melts as it encounters the ocean or eventually breaks off as an iceberg.
The iceberg that breaks off will not itself raise sea levels, but it still plays a big role.
They propose that during replication of a DNA strand, one repeat can mistakenly join to an identical repeat site further along the strand, creating a loop that breaks off.
She has had friends who are boys before, but breaks off when they are interested in dating.