break up

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break up

1. verb To come apart in pieces. The house is so old that the plaster on this wall is breaking up—there are bits of it all over the floor.
2. verb To split something into smaller pieces. In this usage, a noun is commonly used between "break" and "up." I know the project is daunting, but let's break it up into manageable parts that each of us can work on. Because there was only one cookie left, I broke it up so that each kid could have a piece.
3. verb To be inaudible or indecipherable, as of a voice on the telephone or a broadcast of some kind. I'm sorry, can you repeat that? You're breaking up. Your father called, but he was breaking up the whole time, and his message was all garbled.
4. verb To disrupt something and induce its end. In this usage, a noun can be used between "break" and "up." When the teacher saw the two boys shove each other, she came running over to break it up. The police have been working hard to break up the drug trade in our city
5. verb To end a partnership of some kind, often a romantic relationship. I'm so sad to hear that Mara and John broke up—I thought those two would be together forever. The Beatles breaking up is considered a pivotal moment in rock history.
6. verb To cause one to laugh or cry intensely. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is commonly used between "break" and "up." That joke broke her up more than I'd anticipated—she thought it was hilarious! My mother was fine this morning, but the funeral really broke her up.
7. verb To laugh or cry intensely. She thought that joke was hilarious and completely broke up at it! My mother was fine this morning, but she really broke up at the funeral.
8. verb To disrupt the monotony of something. I need to walk around and get some coffee—anything to break up a morning of research. You need to inject some humor and break up the dull tone of this speech.
9. noun The end of a partnership of some kind, often a romantic relationship. The phrase is commonly written as one word in this usage. I was so sad to hear of Mara and John's breakup—I thought those two would be together forever. The Beatles' breakup is considered a pivotal moment in rock history.
See also: break, up

break someone up

to cause a person to laugh, perhaps at an inappropriate time. John told a joke that really broke Mary up. The comedian's job was to break up the audience by telling jokes.
See also: break, up

break something up (into something)

to break something into smaller pieces. We broke the crackers up into much smaller pieces. Please break up the crackers into smaller pieces if you want to feed the ducks.
See also: break, up

break something up

 
1. Lit. to destroy something. The storm broke the docks up on the lake. The police broke up the gambling ring.
2. Fig. to put an end to something. The police broke the fight up. Walter's parents broke up the party at three in the morning.
See also: break, up

break up (with someone)

to end a romantic relationship with someone. Tom broke up with Mary and started dating Lisa. We broke up in March, after an argument.
See also: break, up

break up

 
1. Lit. [for something] to fall apart; to be broken to pieces. (Typically said of a ship breaking up on rocks.) In the greatest storm of the century, theship broke up on the reef. It broke up and sank.
2. Go to break up (with someone).
3. [for married persons] to divorce. After many years of bickering, they finally broke up.
4. [for a marriage] to dissolve in divorce. Their marriage finally broke up.
5. to begin laughing very hard. The comedian told a particularly good joke, and the audience broke up. I always break up when I hear her sing. She is so bad!
See also: break, up

break up

1. Divide into many pieces; disintegrate. For example, Now break up the head of garlic into separate cloves. [Mid-1700s]
2. Interrupt the continuity of something, as in A short walk will break up the long morning.
3. Also, break it up. Scatter, disperse, as in The crowd broke up as soon as they reached the streets. [Late 1400s] This phrase is also used as an imperative, as in "Break it up!" shouted the police officer. [c. 1930]
4. Bring or come to an end, as in His gambling was bound to break up their marriage.
5. Also, break someone up. Burst into or cause one to burst into an expression of feeling, such as laughter or tears. For example, His jokes always break me up, or That touching eulogy broke us all up, or I looked at her and just broke up. The precise meaning depends on the context. This sense grew out of a usage from the early 1800s that meant "upset" or "disturb." [Colloquial; early 1800s]
See also: break, up

break up

v.
1. To divide something into pieces: He broke up a piece of chocolate and scattered the pieces on top of the cake. She took the damaged table outside and broke it up with an axe for use as firewood.
2. To separate or shatter into pieces: The falling rocket broke up before it hit the ground.
3. To cause a relationship or partnership to end: Personal tensions broke the rock band up. I'm not trying to break up their marriage.
4. To end a relationship or partnership; separate: I thought they would be married by the end of the year, but they broke up instead.
5. To cause a crowd or gathering to disperse: The protest rally was getting very big and noisy when the police came and broke it up. The teacher came outside to break up the group of children that were fighting.
6. To disperse: The crowd broke up after the concert was over.
7. To cause someone to laugh or cry very hard: That story that you told really broke me up!
8. To laugh or cry very hard: She broke up when I told her the joke. He broke up when he heard the sad news.
9. To be unclear because of technical difficulties. Used of radio and telephone signals: My radio started breaking up as I drove through the tunnel. There must be something wrong with your phone; your signal is breaking up!
10. To add variety to something: The vertical stripes break up the horizontal patterns on the wall. I take a short walk after lunch to break up the routine of the workday.
See also: break, up
References in periodicals archive ?
One clear indicator of an approaching break-up is when one partner starts avoiding the other person.
One theory suggests that recession could contribute to a rise in partnership break-ups because of increased financial strain, changes in employment and related lifestyle changes," the report states.
marriages; babies and break-ups - and not a few bottles of wine.
00pm) The success of the Swedish supergroup, exploring the flamboyant outfits, hit records, successful spin-offs, marriages and break-ups.
MORE than all the substance abuse, band break-ups, and discarded supermodels, what really proves young Doherty is still in his rock'n'roll prime is that he has yet to make a bad album.
The reasons behind such practices are poverty, family break-ups and failed marriages, said the report that called for finding solutions for the child labour.
We're all familiar with the stressful situations of everyday life such as moving house, break-ups and organising a family Christmas - but it seems that being out of mobile contact may be the 21st Century's contribution to our already manic lives," he said.
In its careful and thorough analysis, including a scene-by- scene examination of the documentary, an introduction to the basic process of documentary filmmaking, and a host of reflective views upon everything from band break-ups to the interplay of American culture and rock-'n'-roll, The Last Waltz of the Band is particularly recommended for anyone studying "The Last Waltz", and through it, the history of rock in North America.
But with these break-ups, there always are people who can't adjust, "because they are coming from a very paternalistic, very hierarchical structure," he said.
There's nary a trace of exhaustion, though, as is often the case with even the newest of bands--a fact that is made all the more surprising in knowing that some of the members just came off harsh break-ups with their former projects.
In addition the site offers a free self-help e-book on dating, flirting, improved sex, lasting relationships, dealing with break-ups, enhancing self-esteem and bringing about self-improvement.
He also had 32 tackles and was second on the Matadors with six pass break-ups.
but we all know that in Walford this means family punch-ups, break-ups and alcoholism.
Angel is suitable for all ages and tackles issues of dementia and family break-ups in a sensitive yet light-hearted manner.
e said of her antic problems: lic break-ups are lt.