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 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 ?
Turner, who was the first victim, broke the news to his form that the headmaster would take them for Latin that day, and on the pretence that they might like to ask him a question or two so that they should not make perfect fools of themselves, spent the last quarter of an hour of the history lesson in construing for them the passage of Livy which had been set for the day; but when he rejoined his class and looked at the paper on which Mr.
Back from the sea came Samuel, and when they broke the news to him something else broke somewhere in his heart or head.
Raffles had looked irritated as he broke the news to me from his pillow, and now there was some sympathy in the way he sat up in bed, as though he felt the thing himself.
He broke the news that the city banned incense burning at the cemetery as a result of the fire.
Dallas, who has just returned from five weeks officiating at the World Cup in Japan, broke the news to staff yesterday.
One worried employee said: "Everyone in Cambuslang was taken into the canteen by Mr Dallas who broke the news to them personally.