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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 classic literature ?
Then feed us and break us and handle and groom, And give us good riders and plenty of room, And launch us in column of squadron and see The way of the war-horse to "Bonnie Dundee"!
Lashing out at BJP president Amit Shah, Tejashwi further stated that the former is trying all means to break us and it will not happen.
We wanted the kids to have the mindset that this game will either make or break us.
We made a decision that it's going to test us, but it's never going to break us.
The enemies want to break us [by their tactics] during this month but we will not let them succeed.
They really try to play rugby and have some game breakers and did manage to break us down a couple of times.
On Sunday we packed the midfield and made it hard for Bradford to break us down.
And anyone who tries to break us will surely fail and only make us stronger.
If Chelsea struggled to break us down, with the way we played against them, then a lot of teams will," Wright-Phillips said.
I accept you need to pick points up away as well but what happens on out pitch will make or break us.
The huge frustration was when they started lumping it long is that we conceded a goal from a team that had run out of ideas of how to break us down.
Just as in 1985, there are simply more people who want to build Tottenham than there are people who want to break us.
We've still got lots to look forward to and this is not going to break us.
The Germans could not break us down, the Czechs could not break us down and we had (Jason) Koumas, (Gareth) Bale and (Craig) Bellamy to come back into the side.