break the news

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break the news

To reveal information, often that which is bad or upsetting. Who is going to break the news of her husband's accident? Your mother is going to be furious if she learns of our engagement from someone else—you have to break the news to her first!
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break a story

[for a media outlet] to be the first to broadcast or distribute the story of an event. The Tribune broke the story before the Herald could even send a reporter to the scene.
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break the news (to someone)

to tell someone some important news, usually bad news. The doctor had to break the news to Jane about her husband's cancer. I hope that the doctor broke the news gently.
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break the news

Make something known, as in We suspected that she was pregnant but waited for her to break the news to her in-laws. This term, in slightly different form ( break a matter or break a business), dates from the early 1500s. Another variant is the 20th-century journalistic phrase, break a story, meaning "to reveal a news item or make it available for publication."
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break the news

COMMON If you break the news, you tell someone about something, especially something bad. I went up to Santa Monica to break the news to her that I'd left my job.
See also: break, news