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break (someone)

To completely destroy, defeat, or humiliate someone. Don't cross me, man, I will break you. That upstart company thinks it can challenge our hold in the market? We'll just have to break them, without mercy.
See also: break


a chance; another chance or a second chance. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give someone ~.) I'm sorry. Please don't send me to the principal's office. Give me a break! I got a nice break. They didn't send me to prison.

break (up) (into something)

to divide into smaller parts. The glass broke up into a thousand pieces. It hit the floor and broke up, flinging bits everywhere.


1. n. a chance; an opportunity. Come on, give me a break!
2. n. an escape from prison; a prison breakout. I hear there’s a break planned for tonight.
3. in. [for a news story] to unfold rapidly. (Journalism.) As the story continues to break, we will bring you the latest.
4. n. a solo played when the rest of the band stops. This is your break, Andy. Let’s hear it, man.


1. To fall into disorder, as a formation of soldiers.
2. To fail to conform to a prevailing or expected pattern or order: "Architectural experts have criticized the plaza in the past because it breaks rank with the distinctive façades of neighboring Fifth Avenue blocks, whose buildings are flush with the sidewalk" (Sharon Churcher).
References in periodicals archive ?
95 pp per Summer break - Pass FREE on breaks starting Oct 8 - Pass HALF PRICE on breaks starting Oct 15.
45 pp per Summer break -Pass FREE on breaks starting Mar 19, Nov 2 -Pass HALF PRICE on breaks starting Oct 8.
Employers can decide when their staff take their rest break, as long as it is taken in one go, and at some point during the middle of the day.
These can include late service, non-arrival of intention to break the lease or a failure to meet lease obligations.
If a lunch break is considered compensable because the employee is not completely relieved of duties, the extra time worked may be compensable as overtime under federal law.
Top ways to spend the new modern work break in 2007 are, 40% chatting with friends, 30% gossiping with workmates and 22% going for a quick walk.
This will teach the pitcher to throw an inside curve--a pitch that starts at the batter and breaks back toward the plate.
The report estimated that 10,000 such students spent their spring break helping with the rebuilding effort.
That's because in the kitchen, people don't break spaghetti by pushing in on the ends.
Jamie blasted some fat JT airs over the box and Jon Allie mixed it up with some of the local ladies--some of whom were so eager for Spring Break they were ready to start some sort of wet T-shirt contest right there in the lot
But instead of having two- and three-month summer vacations, students in year-round schools attend classes for 10 weeks and then take a 3-week break.
Almost all Oregon employees must receive rest breaks and meal periods, but employees excluded from the break requirements include agricultural workers, certain government workers, and workers exempt from minimum wage and overtime laws.
From a single tensile test, one can obtain stresses at desired elongations (typically 300%), elongation to break, and stress at break.