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[breyk-uhp] /ˈbreɪkˌʌp/
disintegration; disruption; dispersal.
the ending of a personal, especially a romantic, relationship.
  1. the melting and loosening of ice in rivers and harbors during the early spring.
  2. the first day on which such ice is soft or dispersed enough to permit ships to use the waterways.
Informal. an act or instance of being convulsed with laughter.
temporary distortion in a televised picture.
Origin of breakup
First recorded in 1785-95; noun use of verb phrase break up Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for breakup
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was a picture of the breakup of the Outer Federation, and in some ways worse than the other wars.

    Victory Lester del Rey
  • If we get there before the breakup, we may cross on the ice.

    Johnny Longbow Roy J. Snell
  • Somehow or other she'd made it across Willow Brook and the breakup had kept her there.

    The Duck-footed Hound James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • They hadn't said much—because they had liked Rakhal—when the breakup came.

    The Door Through Space Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • McNeil—or perhaps both he and Ashe—had survived the breakup of the raft, after all.

    The Time Traders Andre Norton
Word Origin and History for breakup

also break-up, 1795, from verbal expression break up (mid-15c.), which was used originally of plowland, later of groups, assemblies, etc. Of things (also of marriages, relationships), "to disintegrate," from mid-18c. See break (v.) + up (adv.). Break it up as a command to stop a fight, etc., is recorded from 1936.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for breakup



A separation or dissolution (mid-1700s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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