break the news

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 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.
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break the ˈnews (to somebody)

be the first to tell somebody some bad news: I’m sorry to be the one to break the news.
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References in classic literature ?
I know the effect it will have when I break the news to her, but I am prepared with my remedy.
Dearest Miss Briggs, break the news as your delicate sympathy will know how to do it--to my dear, my beloved friend and benefactress.
She had scarcely been carried up to her room, when a new person arrived to whom it was also necessary to break the news.
He begged me to go myself to break the news to her.
My wife will be in despair," cried he; "I shall be obliged to break the news of this unhappy event with great caution.
My heart is heavy for my dear lord and for Aylward, and I know not how I may break the news to the Lady Mary and to the Lady Maude, if they have not yet had tidings of it.
Let me break the news to myself," she said -- "let me anticipate you, if I can.
Afterward, in recollecting the conversation, it seemed to Virginia that the young man had been directed to break the news to her, that her father might be spared the ordeal.
The difficulty, it now seemed, was not to break the news gently to Mrs.
Michelson's discretion to break the news at once to Miss Halcombe, or to defer doing so until that lady's health should be more firmly established.
Meanwhile Father Brown had made his way into the house, and now went to break the news to the wife of the dead man.
The prospect of having to break the news to her had put him into a fever.