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In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.
- Preface

1828 Noah Webster Dictionary
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break

BREAK, v.t. pret. broke, [brake.obs.] pp. broke or broken.

[L. frango, fregi, n casual; Heb.to break, to free or deliver, to separate.]

1. To part or divide by force and violence, as a solid substance; to rend apart; as, to break a band; to break a thread or a cable.

2. To burst or open by force.

The fountains of the earth were broke open.

3. To divide by piercing or penetrating; to burst forth; as, the light breaks through the clouds.

4. To make breaches or gaps by battering, as in a wall.

5. To destroy, crush, weaken, or impair, as the human body or constitution.

6. To sink; to appall or subdue; as, to break the spirits, or the passions.

7. To crush; to shatter; to dissipate the strength of, as of an army.

8. To weaken, or impair, as the faculties.

9. To tame; to train to obedience; to make tractable; as, to break a horse.

10. To make bankrupt.

11. To discard, dismiss or cashier; as, to break an officer.

12. To crack, to part or divide, as the skin; to open, as an aposteme.

13. To violate, as a contract or promise, either by a positive act contrary to the promise, or by neglect or non-fulfillment.

14. To infringe or violate, as a law, or any moral obligation, either by a positive act or by an omission of what is required.

15. To stop; to interrupt; to cause to cease; as, to break conversation; to break sleep.

16. To intercept; to check; to lessen the force of; as, to break a fall, or a blow.

17. To separate; to part; as, to break company of friendship.

18. To dissolve any union; sometimes with off; as, to break off a connection.

19. To cause to abandon; to reform or cause to reform; as, to break one of ill habits or practices.

20. To open as a purpose; to propound something new; to make a first disclosure of opinions; as, to break one's mind.

21. To frustrate; to prevent.

If plagues or earthquakes break not heaven's design.

22. To take away; as, to break the whole staff of bread. Ps. 105.

23. To stretch; to strain; to rack; as, to break one on the wheel.

To break the back, to strain or dislocate the vertebers with too heavy a burden; also, to disable one's fortune.

To break bulk, to begin to unload.

To break a deer, to cut it up at table.

To breakfast, to eat the first meal in the day, but used as a compound word.

To break ground, to plow.

To break ground, to dig; to open trenches.

To break the heart, to afflict grievously; to cause great sorrow or grief; to depress with sorrow or despair.

To break a jest, to utter a jest unexpected.

To break the neck, to dislocate the joints of the neck.

To break off, to put a sudden stop to; to interrupt; to discontinue.

Break off thy sins by righteousness. Dan.4.

1. To sever; to divide; as, to break off a twig.

To break sheer, in marine language. When a ship at anchor is in a position to keep clear of the anchor, but is forced by wind or current out of that position,she breaks her sheer.

To break up, to dissolve or put an end to; as, to break up house-keeping.

1. To open or lay open; as, to break up a bed of earth.

2. To plow ground the first time, or after lying long unplowed; a common use in the U. States.

3. To separate; as, to break up a company.

4. To disband; as, to break up an army.

To break upon the wheel, to stretch and break the bones by torture upon the wheel.

To break wind, to give vent to wind from the body backward.

BREAK, v.i. To part; to separate;to divide in two; as, the ice breaks; a band breaks.

1. To burst; as, a storm or deluge breaks.

2. To burst, by dashing against something; as, a wave breaks upon a rock.

3. To open, as a tumor or aposteme.

4. To open, as the morning; to show the first light; to dawn.

5. To burst forth; to utter or exclaim.

6. To fail in trade or other occupation; to become bankrupt.

7. To decline in health and strength; to begin to lose the natural vigor.

8. To issue out with vehemence.

9. To make way with violence or suddenness; to rush; often with a particle; as, to break in; to break in upon, as calamities; to break over, as a flood; to break out, as a fire; to break forth, as light or a sound.

10. To come to an explanation.

I am to break with thee upon some affairs. [I believe, antiquated.]

11. To suffer an interruption of friendship; to fall out.

Be not afraid to break with traitors.

12. To faint, flag or pant.

My soul breaketh for longing to thy judgments. Ps.119.

To break away, to disengage itself from; to rush from; also, to dissolve itself or dissipate, as fog or clouds.

To break forth, to issue out.

To break from, to disengage from; to depart abruptly, or with vehemence.

To break in, to enter by force; to enter unexpectedly; to intrude.

To break loose, to get free by force; to escape from confinement by violence; to shake off restraint.

To break off, to part; to divide; also, to desist suddenly.

To break off from, to part from with violence.

To break out, to issue forth; to discover itself by its effects, to arise or spring up; as, a fire breaks out; a sedition breaks out; a fever breaks out.

1. To appear in eruptions, as pustules; to have pustules, or an efflorescence on the skin, as a child breaks out. Hence we have freckle from the root of break.

2. To throw off restraint, and become dissolute.

To break up, to dissolve itself and separate; as a company breaks up; a meeting breaks up; a fog breaks up; but more generally we say, fog, mist or clouds break away.

To break with, to part in enmity; to cease to be friends; as, to break with a friend or companion.

This verb carries with it its primitive sense of straining, parting, severing, bursting, often with violence, with the consequential senses of injury, defect and infirmity.

BREAK, n. A state of being open, or the act of separating; an opening made by force; an open place. It is the same word as brack, differently written and pronounced.

1. A pause; an interruption.

2. A line in writing or printing, noting a suspension of the sense, or a stop in the sentence.

3. In a ship, the break of the deck is the part where it terminates, and the descent on to the next deck below commences.

4. The first appearance of light in the morning; the dawn; as the break of day.



Evolution (or devolution) of this word [break]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

BREAK, v.t. pret. broke, [brake.obs.] pp. broke or broken.

[L. frango, fregi, n casual; Heb.to break, to free or deliver, to separate.]

1. To part or divide by force and violence, as a solid substance; to rend apart; as, to break a band; to break a thread or a cable.

2. To burst or open by force.

The fountains of the earth were broke open.

3. To divide by piercing or penetrating; to burst forth; as, the light breaks through the clouds.

4. To make breaches or gaps by battering, as in a wall.

5. To destroy, crush, weaken, or impair, as the human body or constitution.

6. To sink; to appall or subdue; as, to break the spirits, or the passions.

7. To crush; to shatter; to dissipate the strength of, as of an army.

8. To weaken, or impair, as the faculties.

9. To tame; to train to obedience; to make tractable; as, to break a horse.

10. To make bankrupt.

11. To discard, dismiss or cashier; as, to break an officer.

12. To crack, to part or divide, as the skin; to open, as an aposteme.

13. To violate, as a contract or promise, either by a positive act contrary to the promise, or by neglect or non-fulfillment.

14. To infringe or violate, as a law, or any moral obligation, either by a positive act or by an omission of what is required.

15. To stop; to interrupt; to cause to cease; as, to break conversation; to break sleep.

16. To intercept; to check; to lessen the force of; as, to break a fall, or a blow.

17. To separate; to part; as, to break company of friendship.

18. To dissolve any union; sometimes with off; as, to break off a connection.

19. To cause to abandon; to reform or cause to reform; as, to break one of ill habits or practices.

20. To open as a purpose; to propound something new; to make a first disclosure of opinions; as, to break one's mind.

21. To frustrate; to prevent.

If plagues or earthquakes break not heaven's design.

22. To take away; as, to break the whole staff of bread. Ps. 105.

23. To stretch; to strain; to rack; as, to break one on the wheel.

To break the back, to strain or dislocate the vertebers with too heavy a burden; also, to disable one's fortune.

To break bulk, to begin to unload.

To break a deer, to cut it up at table.

To breakfast, to eat the first meal in the day, but used as a compound word.

To break ground, to plow.

To break ground, to dig; to open trenches.

To break the heart, to afflict grievously; to cause great sorrow or grief; to depress with sorrow or despair.

To break a jest, to utter a jest unexpected.

To break the neck, to dislocate the joints of the neck.

To break off, to put a sudden stop to; to interrupt; to discontinue.

Break off thy sins by righteousness. Dan.4.

1. To sever; to divide; as, to break off a twig.

To break sheer, in marine language. When a ship at anchor is in a position to keep clear of the anchor, but is forced by wind or current out of that position,she breaks her sheer.

To break up, to dissolve or put an end to; as, to break up house-keeping.

1. To open or lay open; as, to break up a bed of earth.

2. To plow ground the first time, or after lying long unplowed; a common use in the U. States.

3. To separate; as, to break up a company.

4. To disband; as, to break up an army.

To break upon the wheel, to stretch and break the bones by torture upon the wheel.

To break wind, to give vent to wind from the body backward.

BREAK, v.i. To part; to separate;to divide in two; as, the ice breaks; a band breaks.

1. To burst; as, a storm or deluge breaks.

2. To burst, by dashing against something; as, a wave breaks upon a rock.

3. To open, as a tumor or aposteme.

4. To open, as the morning; to show the first light; to dawn.

5. To burst forth; to utter or exclaim.

6. To fail in trade or other occupation; to become bankrupt.

7. To decline in health and strength; to begin to lose the natural vigor.

8. To issue out with vehemence.

9. To make way with violence or suddenness; to rush; often with a particle; as, to break in; to break in upon, as calamities; to break over, as a flood; to break out, as a fire; to break forth, as light or a sound.

10. To come to an explanation.

I am to break with thee upon some affairs. [I believe, antiquated.]

11. To suffer an interruption of friendship; to fall out.

Be not afraid to break with traitors.

12. To faint, flag or pant.

My soul breaketh for longing to thy judgments. Ps.119.

To break away, to disengage itself from; to rush from; also, to dissolve itself or dissipate, as fog or clouds.

To break forth, to issue out.

To break from, to disengage from; to depart abruptly, or with vehemence.

To break in, to enter by force; to enter unexpectedly; to intrude.

To break loose, to get free by force; to escape from confinement by violence; to shake off restraint.

To break off, to part; to divide; also, to desist suddenly.

To break off from, to part from with violence.

To break out, to issue forth; to discover itself by its effects, to arise or spring up; as, a fire breaks out; a sedition breaks out; a fever breaks out.

1. To appear in eruptions, as pustules; to have pustules, or an efflorescence on the skin, as a child breaks out. Hence we have freckle from the root of break.

2. To throw off restraint, and become dissolute.

To break up, to dissolve itself and separate; as a company breaks up; a meeting breaks up; a fog breaks up; but more generally we say, fog, mist or clouds break away.

To break with, to part in enmity; to cease to be friends; as, to break with a friend or companion.

This verb carries with it its primitive sense of straining, parting, severing, bursting, often with violence, with the consequential senses of injury, defect and infirmity.

BREAK, n. A state of being open, or the act of separating; an opening made by force; an open place. It is the same word as brack, differently written and pronounced.

1. A pause; an interruption.

2. A line in writing or printing, noting a suspension of the sense, or a stop in the sentence.

3. In a ship, the break of the deck is the part where it terminates, and the descent on to the next deck below commences.

4. The first appearance of light in the morning; the dawn; as the break of day.

BREAK, n.

  1. A state of being open, or the act of separating; an opening made by force; an open place. It is the same word as brack, differently written and pronounced.
  2. A pause; an interruption.
  3. A line in writing or printing, noting a suspension of the sense, or a stop in the sentence.
  4. In a ship, the break of the deck is the part where it terminates, and the descent on to the next deck below commences.
  5. The first appearance of light in the morning; the dawn; as the break of day. Ar. نَرَقُ farakon, id. that is, farak.
  6. In architecture, a recess.

BREAK, v.i.

  1. To part; to separate; to divide in two; as, the ice breaks; a band breaks.
  2. To burst; as, a storm or deluge breaks. – Dryden.
  3. To burst by dashing against something; as, a wave breaks upon a rock. – Pope.
  4. To open, as a tumor or aposteme. – Harvey.
  5. To open, as the morning; to show the first light; to dawn. – Addison.
  6. To burst forth; to utter or exclaim. – Shak.
  7. To fail in trade or other occupation; to become bankrupt. – Pope.
  8. To decline in health and strength; to begin to lose the natural vigor. – Swift.
  9. To issue out with vehemence. – Pope.
  10. To make way with violence or suddenness; to rush; often with a particle; as, to break into break in upon, as calamities; to break over, as a flood; to break out, as a fire; to break forth, as light or a sound.
  11. To come to an explanation. I am to break with thee upon some affairs. – Shak. [I believe antiquated.]
  12. To suffer an interruption of friendship; to fall out. Be not afraid to break with traitors. – B. Jonson.
  13. To faint, flag, or pant. My soul breaketh, for longing to thy judgments. – Ps. cxix. To break away, to disengage itself from; to rush from; also, to dissolve itself or dissipate, as fog or clouds. To break forth, to issue out. To break from, to disengage from; to depart abruptly, or with vehemence. – Roscommon. To break in, to enter by force; to enter unexpectedly; to intrude. – Addison. To break loose, to get free by force; to escape from confinement by violence; to shake off restraint. – Milton. Tillotson. To break off, to part; to divide; also, to desist suddenly. – Bacon. To break off from, to part from with violence. – Shak. To break out, to issue forth; to discover itself by its effects, to arise or spring up; as, a fire breaks out; a sedition breaks out; a fever breaks out. – Dryden. Milton. #2. To appear in eruptions, as pustules; to have pustules, or an efflorescence on the skin, as a child breaks out. Hence we have freckle from the root of break; Welsh breç. #3. To throw off restraint, and become dissolute. – Dryden. To break up, to dissolve itself and separate; as, a company breaks up; a meeting breaks up; a fog breaks up; but more generally we say, fog, mist, clouds break away. To break with, to part in enmity; to cease to be friends; as, to break with a friend or companion. – Pope. This verb carries with it its primitive sense of straining, parting, severing, bursting, often with violence, with the consequential senses of injury, defect and infirmity.

BREAK, v.t. [pret. broke, brake, Obs. pp. broke or broken. Sax. bræcan, brecan, to break, and bracan, to bray, as in a mortar; Sw. bräka; Dan. brækker; D. braaken, breeken; G. brechen; W. bregu, to break; breg, a rent or rupture; breç, a breaking out, a freckle; Goth. brikan; Ir. bracaim, to break, to harrow; Sp. and Port. brecha, a breach; L. frango, fregi, n casual; Arm. fricga; Fr. fracas; Heb. Ch. Syr. Sam. and Ar. פרק, farak, to break, to free or deliver, to separate; Gr. φρασσω, φραγμα. These words seem also to be allied to ברן and פרן. If the first consonant is a prefix, which is probable, then connected with these words are the Gr. ῥηγνυω and ερεικω, W. rhwygaw, Arm. roga, rega, to rend. Wreck is probably of the same family. The primary sense is to strain, stretch, rack, drive; hence, to strain and burst or break. It should be noted that the Greek ῥηγη, in the Æolic dialect, is βρηγη.]

  1. To part or divide by force and violence, as a solid substance; to rend apart; as, to break a band; to break a thread or a cable.
  2. To burst or open by force. The fountains of the earth were broke open. – Burnet.
  3. To divide by piercing or penetrating; to burst forth; as, the light breaks through the clouds. – Dryden.
  4. To make breaches or gaps by battering, as in a wall. – Shak.
  5. To destroy, crush, weaken, or impair, as the human body or constitution. – Milton.
  6. To sink; to appall or subdue; as, to break the spirits or the passions. – Philips.
  7. To crush; to shatter; to dissipate the strength of, as of an army. – Dryden.
  8. To weaken, or impair, as the faculties. – Shak.
  9. To tame; to train to obedience; to make tractable; as, to break a horse. – Addison.
  10. To make bankrupt. – South.
  11. To discard, dismiss, or cashier; as, to break an officer. – Swift.
  12. To crack, to part or divide, as the skin; to open, as an aposteme.
  13. To violate, as a contract or promise, either by a positive act contrary to the promise, or by neglect or non-fulfillment.
  14. To infringe or violate, as a law, or any moral obligation, either by a positive act or by an omission of what is required. – Dryden.
  15. To stop; to interrupt; to cause to cease; as, to break conversation; to break sleep. – Shak.
  16. To intercept; to check; to lessen the force of; as, to break a fall, or a blow. – Bacon.
  17. To separate; to part; as, to break company or friendship. – Atterbury.
  18. To dissolve any union; sometimes with off; as, to break off a connection.
  19. To cause to abandon; to reform or cause to reform; as, to break one of ill habits or practices. – Grew.
  20. To open as a purpose; to propound something new; to make a first disclosure of opinions; as to break one's mind. – Bacon.
  21. To frustrate; to prevent. If plagues or earthquakes break not heaven's design. – Pope.
  22. To take away; as, to break the whole staff of bread. – Ps. cv.
  23. To stretch; to strain; to rack; as, to break one on the wheel. To break the back, to strain or dislocate the vertebers with too heavy a burden; also, to disable one's fortune. – Shak. To break bulk, to begin to unload. – Mar. Dict. To break a deer, to cut it up at table. – Johnson. To break fast, to eat the first meal in the day, but used as a compound word. To break ground, to plow. – Carew. To break ground, to dig; to open trenches. – Encyc. To break the heart, to afflict grievously; to cause great sorrow or grief; to depress with sorrow or despair. – Dryden. To break a jest, to utter a jest unexpected. – Johnson. To break the neck, to dislocate the joints of the neck. – Shak. To break off, to put a sudden stop to; to interrupt; to discontinue. Break off thy sins by righteousness. – Dan iv. #2. To sever; to divide; as, to break off a twig. To break sheer, in marine language. When a ship at anchor is in a position to keep clear of the anchor, but is forced by wind or current out of that position, she breaks her sheer. – Mar. Dict. To break up, to dissolve or put an end to; as, to break up house-keeping. #2. To open or lay open; as, to break up a bed of earth. #3. To plow ground the first time, or after lying long unplowed; a common use in the United States. #4. To separate; as, to break up a company. #5. To disband; as, to break up an army. To break upon the wheel, to stretch and break the bones by torture upon the wheel. To break wind, to give vent to wind from the body backward.

Break
  1. To strain apart; to sever by fracture; to divide with violence; as, to break a rope or chain; to break a seal; to break an axle; to break rocks or coal; to break a lock.

    Shak.
  2. To come apart or divide into two or more pieces, usually with suddenness and violence; to part; to burst asunder.
  3. An opening made by fracture or disruption.
  4. To lay open as by breaking; to divide; as, to break a package of goods.
  5. To open spontaneously, or by pressure from within, as a bubble, a tumor, a seed vessel, a bag.

    Else the bottle break, and the wine runneth out.
    Math. ix. 17.

  6. An interruption of continuity; change of direction; as, a break in a wall; a break in the deck of a ship.

    Specifically: (a) (Arch.)
  7. To lay open, as a purpose; to disclose, divulge, or communicate.

    Katharine, break thy mind to me.
    Shak.

  8. To burst forth; to make its way; to come to view; to appear; to dawn.

    The day begins to break, and night is fled.
    Shak.

    And from the turf a fountain broke,
    and gurgled at our feet.
    Wordsworth.

  9. An interruption; a pause; as, a break in friendship; a break in the conversation.
  10. To infringe or violate, as an obligation, law, or promise.

    Out, out, hyena! these are thy wonted arts . . .
    To break all faith, all vows, deceive, betray.
    Milton

  11. To burst forth violently, as a storm.

    The clouds are still above; and, while I speak,
    A second deluge o'er our head may break.
    Dryden.

  12. An interruption in continuity in writing or printing, as where there is an omission, an unfilled line, etc.

    All modern trash is
    Set forth with numerous breaks and dashes.
    Swift.

  13. To interrupt; to destroy the continuity of; to dissolve or terminate; as, to break silence; to break one's sleep; to break one's journey.

    Go, release them, Ariel;
    My charms I'll break, their senses I'll restore.

    Shak.

  14. To open up; to be scattered; to be dissipated; as, the clouds are breaking.

    At length the darkness begins to break.
    Macaulay.

  15. The first appearing, as of light in the morning; the dawn; as, the break of day; the break of dawn.
  16. To destroy the completeness of; to remove a part from; as, to break a set.
  17. To become weakened in constitution or faculties; to lose health or strength.

    See how the dean begins to break;
    Poor gentleman! he droops apace.
    Swift.

  18. A large four-wheeled carriage, having a straight body and calash top, with the driver's seat in front and the footman's behind.
  19. To destroy the arrangement of; to throw into disorder; to pierce; as, the cavalry were not able to break the British squares.
  20. To be crushed, or overwhelmed with sorrow or grief; as, my heart is breaking.
  21. A device for checking motion, or for measuring friction. See Brake, n. 9 *** 10.
  22. To shatter to pieces; to reduce to fragments.

    The victim broke in pieces the musical instruments with which he had solaced the hours of captivity.
    Prescott.

  23. To fall in business; to become bankrupt.

    He that puts all upon adventures doth oftentimes break, and come to poverty.
    Bacn.

  24. See Commutator.
  25. To exchange for other money or currency of smaller denomination; as, to break a five dollar bill.
  26. To make an abrupt or sudden change; to change the gait; as, to break into a run or gallop.
  27. To destroy the strength, firmness, or consistency of; as, to break flax.
  28. To fail in musical quality; as, a singer's voice breaks when it is strained beyond its compass and a tone or note is not completed, but degenerates into an unmusical sound instead. Also, to change in tone, as a boy's voice at puberty.
  29. To weaken or impair, as health, spirit, or mind.

    An old man, broken with the storms of state.
    Shak.

  30. To fall out; to terminate friendship.

    To break upon the score of danger or expense is to be mean and narrow-spirited.
    Collier.

    With prepositions or adverbs: -

    To break away, to disengage one's self abruptly; to come or go away against resistance.

    Fear me not, man; I will not break away.
    Shak.

    To break down. (a) To come down by breaking; as, the coach broke down. (b) To fail in any undertaking.

    He had broken down almost at the outset.
    Thackeray.

    -- To break forth, to issue; to come out suddenly, as sound, light, etc. "Then shall thy light break forth as the morning." Isa. lviii. 8;

    often with into in expressing or giving vent to one's feelings. "Break forth into singing, ye mountains." Isa. xliv. 23.

    To break from, to go away from abruptly.

    This radiant from the circling crowd he broke.
    Dryden.

    -- To break into, to enter by breaking; as, to break into a house. -- To break in upon, to enter or approach violently or unexpectedly. "This, this is he; softly awhile; let us not break in upon him." Milton. -- To break loose. (a) To extricate one's self forcibly. "Who would not, finding way, break loose from hell?" Milton. (b) To cast off restraint, as of morals or propriety. -- To break off. (a) To become separated by rupture, or with suddenness and violence. (b) To desist or cease suddenly. "Nay, forward, old man; do not break off so." Shak. -- To break off from, to desist from; to abandon, as a habit. -- To break out. (a) To burst forth; to escape from restraint; to appear suddenly, as a fire or an epidemic. "For in the wilderness shall waters break out, and stream in the desert." Isa. xxxv. 6 (b) To show itself in cutaneous eruptions; -- said of a disease. (c) To have a rash or eruption on the akin; -- said of a patient. -- To break over, to overflow; to go beyond limits. -- To break up. (a) To become separated into parts or fragments; as, the ice break up in the rivers; the wreck will break up in the next storm. (b) To disperse. "The company breaks up." I. Watts. -- To break upon, to discover itself suddenly to; to dawn upon. -- To break with. (a) To fall out; to sever one's relations with; to part friendship. "It can not be the Volsces dare break with us." Shak. "If she did not intend to marry Clive, she should have broken with him altogether." Thackeray. (b) To come to an explanation; to enter into conference; to speak. [Obs.] "I will break with her and with her father." Shak.

  31. To diminish the force of; to lessen the shock of, as a fall or blow.

    I'll rather leap down first, and break your fall.
    Dryden.

  32. To impart, as news or information; to broach; - - with to, and often with a modified word implying some reserve; as, to break the news gently to the widow; to break a purpose cautiously to a friend.
  33. To tame; to reduce to subjection; to make tractable; to discipline; as, to break a horse to the harness or saddle.

    "To break a colt." Spenser.

    Why, then thou canst not break her to the lute?
    Shak.

  34. To destroy the financial credit of; to make bankrupt; to ruin.

    With arts like these rich Matho, when he speaks,
    Attracts all fees, and little lawyers breaks.
    Dryden.

  35. To destroy the official character and standing of; to cashier; to dismiss.

    I see a great officer broken.
    Swift.

    With prepositions or adverbs: --

    To break down. (a) To crush; to overwhelm; as, to break down one's strength; to break down opposition. (b) To remove, or open a way through, by breaking; as, to break down a door or wall. -- To break in. (a) To force in; as, to break in a door. (b) To train; to discipline; as, a horse well broken in. -- To break of, to rid of; to cause to abandon; as, to break one of a habit. -- To break off. (a) To separate by breaking; as, to break off a twig. (b) To stop suddenly; to abandon. "Break off thy sins by righteousness." Dan. iv. 27. -- To break open, to open by breaking. "Open the door, or I will break it open." Shak. -- To break out, to take or force out by breaking; as, to break out a pane of glass. -- To break out a cargo, to unstow a cargo, so as to unload it easily. -- To break through. (a) To make an opening through, as, as by violence or the force of gravity; to pass violently through; as, to break through the enemy's lines; to break through the ice. (b) To disregard; as, to break through the ceremony. -- To break up. (a) To separate into parts; to plow (new or fallow ground). "Break up this capon." Shak. "Break up your fallow ground." Jer. iv. 3. (b) To dissolve; to put an end to. "Break up the court." Shak. -- To break (one) all up, to unsettle or disconcert completely; to upset. [Colloq.]

    With an immediate object: --

    To break the back. (a) To dislocate the backbone; hence, to disable totally. (b) To get through the worst part of; as, to break the back of a difficult undertaking. -- To break bulk, to destroy the entirety of a load by removing a portion of it; to begin to unload; also, to transfer in detail, as from boats to cars. -- To break cover, to burst forth from a protecting concealment, as game when hunted. -- To break a deer or stag, to cut it up and apportion the parts among those entitled to a share. -- To break fast, to partake of food after abstinence. See Breakfast. -- To break ground. (a) To open the earth as for planting; to commence excavation, as for building, siege operations, and the like; as, to break ground for a foundation, a canal, or a railroad. (b) Fig.: To begin to execute any plan. (c) (Naut.) To release the anchor from the bottom. -- To break the heart, to crush or overwhelm (one) with grief. -- To break a house (Law), to remove or set aside with violence and a felonious intent any part of a house or of the fastenings provided to secure it. -- To break the ice, to get through first difficulties; to overcome obstacles and make a beginning; to introduce a subject. -- To break jail, to escape from confinement in jail, usually by forcible means. -- To break a jest, to utter a jest. "Patroclus . . . the livelong day breaks scurril jests." Shak. -- To break joints, to lay or arrange bricks, shingles, etc., so that the joints in one course shall not coincide with those in the preceding course. -- To break a lance, to engage in a tilt or contest. -- To break the neck, to dislocate the joints of the neck. -- To break no squares, to create no trouble. [Obs.] -- To break a path, road, etc., to open a way through obstacles by force or labor. -- To break upon a wheel, to execute or torture, as a criminal by stretching him upon a wheel, and breaking his limbs with an iron bar; -- a mode of punishment formerly employed in some countries. -- To break wind, to give vent to wind from the anus.

    Syn. -- To dispart; rend; tear; shatter; batter; violate; infringe; demolish; destroy; burst; dislocate.

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Break

BREAK, verb transitive preterit tense broke, [brake.obs.] participle passive broke or broken.

[Latin frango, fregi, n casual; Heb.to break to free or deliver, to separate.]

1. To part or divide by force and violence, as a solid substance; to rend apart; as, to break a band; to break a thread or a cable.

2. To burst or open by force.

The fountains of the earth were broke open.

3. To divide by piercing or penetrating; to burst forth; as, the light breaks through the clouds.

4. To make breaches or gaps by battering, as in a wall.

5. To destroy, crush, weaken, or impair, as the human body or constitution.

6. To sink; to appall or subdue; as, to break the spirits, or the passions.

7. To crush; to shatter; to dissipate the strength of, as of an army.

8. To weaken, or impair, as the faculties.

9. To tame; to train to obedience; to make tractable; as, to break a horse.

10. To make bankrupt.

11. To discard, dismiss or cashier; as, to break an officer.

12. To crack, to part or divide, as the skin; to open, as an aposteme.

13. To violate, as a contract or promise, either by a positive act contrary to the promise, or by neglect or non-fulfillment.

14. To infringe or violate, as a law, or any moral obligation, either by a positive act or by an omission of what is required.

15. To stop; to interrupt; to cause to cease; as, to break conversation; to break sleep.

16. To intercept; to check; to lessen the force of; as, to break a fall, or a blow.

17. To separate; to part; as, to break company of friendship.

18. To dissolve any union; sometimes with off; as, to break off a connection.

19. To cause to abandon; to reform or cause to reform; as, to break one of ill habits or practices.

20. To open as a purpose; to propound something new; to make a first disclosure of opinions; as, to break one's mind.

21. To frustrate; to prevent.

If plagues or earthquakes break not heaven's design.

22. To take away; as, to break the whole staff of bread. Psalms 105:1.

23. To stretch; to strain; to rack; as, to break one on the wheel.

To break the back, to strain or dislocate the vertebers with too heavy a burden; also, to disable one's fortune.

To break bulk, to begin to unload.

To break a deer, to cut it up at table.

To breakfast, to eat the first meal in the day, but used as a compound word.

To break ground, to plow.

To break ground, to dig; to open trenches.

To break the heart, to afflict grievously; to cause great sorrow or grief; to depress with sorrow or despair.

To break a jest, to utter a jest unexpected.

To break the neck, to dislocate the joints of the neck.

To break off, to put a sudden stop to; to interrupt; to discontinue.

BREAK off thy sins by righteousness. Daniel 4:27.

1. To sever; to divide; as, to break off a twig.

To break sheer, in marine language. When a ship at anchor is in a position to keep clear of the anchor, but is forced by wind or current out of that position, she breaks her sheer.

To break up, to dissolve or put an end to; as, to break up house-keeping.

1. To open or lay open; as, to break up a bed of earth.

2. To plow ground the first time, or after lying long unplowed; a common use in the U. States.

3. To separate; as, to break up a company.

4. To disband; as, to break up an army.

To break upon the wheel, to stretch and break the bones by torture upon the wheel.

To break wind, to give vent to wind from the body backward.

BREAK, verb intransitive To part; to separate; to divide in two; as, the ice breaks; a band breaks.

1. To burst; as, a storm or deluge breaks.

2. To burst, by dashing against something; as, a wave breaks upon a rock.

3. To open, as a tumor or aposteme.

4. To open, as the morning; to show the first light; to dawn.

5. To burst forth; to utter or exclaim.

6. To fail in trade or other occupation; to become bankrupt.

7. To decline in health and strength; to begin to lose the natural vigor.

8. To issue out with vehemence.

9. To make way with violence or suddenness; to rush; often with a particle; as, to break in; to break in upon, as calamities; to break over, as a flood; to break out, as a fire; to break forth, as light or a sound.

10. To come to an explanation.

I am to break with thee upon some affairs. [I believe, antiquated.]

11. To suffer an interruption of friendship; to fall out.

Be not afraid to break with traitors.

12. To faint, flag or pant.

My soul breaketh for longing to thy judgments. Psalms 119:20.

To break away, to disengage itself from; to rush from; also, to dissolve itself or dissipate, as fog or clouds.

To break forth, to issue out.

To break from, to disengage from; to depart abruptly, or with vehemence.

To break in, to enter by force; to enter unexpectedly; to intrude.

To break loose, to get free by force; to escape from confinement by violence; to shake off restraint.

To break off, to part; to divide; also, to desist suddenly.

To break off from, to part from with violence.

To break out, to issue forth; to discover itself by its effects, to arise or spring up; as, a fire breaks out; a sedition breaks out; a fever breaks out.

1. To appear in eruptions, as pustules; to have pustules, or an efflorescence on the skin, as a child breaks out. Hence we have freckle from the root of break

2. To throw off restraint, and become dissolute.

To break up, to dissolve itself and separate; as a company breaks up; a meeting breaks up; a fog breaks up; but more generally we say, fog, mist or clouds break away.

To break with, to part in enmity; to cease to be friends; as, to break with a friend or companion.

This verb carries with it its primitive sense of straining, parting, severing, bursting, often with violence, with the consequential senses of injury, defect and infirmity.

BREAK, noun A state of being open, or the act of separating; an opening made by force; an open place. It is the same word as brack, differently written and pronounced.

1. A pause; an interruption.

2. A line in writing or printing, noting a suspension of the sense, or a stop in the sentence.

3. In a ship, the break of the deck is the part where it terminates, and the descent on to the next deck below commences.

4. The first appearance of light in the morning; the dawn; as the break of day.

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— John (Mingo Junction, OH)

Word of the Day

importance

IMPORT'ANCE, n.

1. Weight; consequence; a bearing on some interest; that quality of any thing by which it may affect a measure, interest or result. The education of youth is of great importance to a free government. A religious education is of infinite importance to every human being.

2. Weight or consequence in the scale of being.

Thy own importance know.

Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.

3. Weight or consequence in self-estimation.

He believes himself a man of importance.

4. Thing implied; matter; subject; importunity. [In these senses, obsolete.]

Random Word

bobbin

BOB'BIN, n. A small pin or cylindrical piece of wood, with a head, on which thread is wound for making lace. A similar instrument, bored through to receive an iron pivot, and with a border at each end,is used in spinning, to wind thread or silk on; a spool.

Noah's 1828 Dictionary

First dictionary of the American Language!

Noah Webster, the Father of American Christian education, wrote the first American dictionary and established a system of rules to govern spelling, grammar, and reading. This master linguist understood the power of words, their definitions, and the need for precise word usage in communication to maintain independence. Webster used the Bible as the foundation for his definitions.

This standard reference tool will greatly assist students of all ages in their studies.

No other dictionary compares with the Webster's 1828 dictionary. The English language has changed again and again and in many instances has become corrupt. The American Dictionary of the English Language is based upon God's written word, for Noah Webster used the Bible as the foundation for his definitions. This standard reference tool will greatly assist students of all ages in their studies. From American History to literature, from science to the Word of God, this dictionary is a necessity. For homeschoolers as well as avid Bible students it is easy, fast, and sophisticated.


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