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circuit breaker

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noun
  1. Electricity. Also called breaker. a device for interrupting an electric circuit to prevent excessive current, as that caused by a short circuit, from damaging the apparatus in the circuit or from causing a fire.
  2. any property-tax relief measure that reduces or limits property taxes for certain eligible taxpayers, as those with low income or the elderly.

Origin of circuit breaker

An Americanism dating back to 1870–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for circuit breaker

Historical Examples

  • The circuit-breaker worked and the alternating current did the rest.

    Pirates of the Gorm

    Nat Schachner

  • In our first circuit (A) there is a battery and a circuit-breaker, which is a common telegraph-key.

  • There were two circuit-breaker chambers, one at Station 286 and the other at Station 310.

  • The accompanying cut shows the combination of battery B, the circuit-breaker, and the rod mounted upon the box.

    The Telephone

    A. E. Dolbear

  • A circuit-breaker may be set so as to open its connections in one or more seconds after a certain current begins to flow.


British Dictionary definitions for circuit breaker

circuit breaker

noun
  1. a device that under abnormal conditions, such as a short circuit, interrupts the flow of current in an electrical circuitSometimes shortened to: breaker Compare fuse 2 (def. 6)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

circuit breaker in Science

circuit breaker

  1. A switch that automatically interrupts the flow of electric current if the current exceeds a preset limit, measured in amperes. Circuit breakers are used most often as a safety precaution where excessive current through a circuit could be hazardous. Unlike fuses, they can usually be reset and reused.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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