- break through,
- break up,
- break wind,
- break with,
- break-even point,
- break-in period,
- break-out group,
- break-up value
Origin of break-even
verb (used with object), broke or (Archaic) brake; bro·ken or (Archaic) broke; break·ing.
- to open or force one's way into (a dwelling, store, etc.).
- to contest (a will) successfully by judicial action.
- to release (a story) for publication or airing on radio or television: They will break the story tomorrow.
- to continue (a story or article) on another page, especially when the page is not the following one.
- (of a pitcher, bowler, etc.) to hurl (a ball) in such a way as to cause it to change direction after leaving the hand: He broke a curve over the plate for a strike.
- (in tennis and other racket games) to score frequently or win against (an opponent's serve).
verb (used without object), broke or (Archaic) brake; bro·ken or (Archaic) broke; break·ing.
- an opportunity or stroke of fortune, especially a lucky one.
- a chance to improve one's lot, especially one unlooked for or undeserved.
- one or more blank lines between two paragraphs.
- breaks.suspension points.
- to leave or escape, especially suddenly or hurriedly.
- to sever connections or allegiance, as to tradition or a political group.
- to start prematurely: The horse broke away from the starting gate.
- to become ineffective.
- to lose control; weaken: He broke down and wept at the sad news.
- to have a physical or mental collapse.
- to cease to function: The car broke down.
- to itemize: to break down a hotel bill into daily charges.
- Chemistry.to separate (a compound) into its constituent molecules.
- Electricity.(of an insulator) to fail, as when subjected to excessively high voltage, permitting a current to pass.
- to decompose.
- to analyze.
- to classify.
- to separate into constituent parts: to break down a beef carcass into basic cuts.
- to enter by force or craft: Someone broke in and made off with all the furniture.
- to train or instruct; initiate: The boss is breaking in a new assistant.
- to begin to wear or use in order to make comfortable: These shoes haven't been broken in.
- to interrupt: He broke in with a ridiculous objection.
- to run (new machinery) initially under reduced load and speed, until any stiffness of motion has departed and all parts are ready to operate under normal service conditions; run in; wear in.
- to interpose; interrupt: He broke into the conversation at a crucial moment.
- to begin some activity.
- to be admitted into; enter, as a business or profession: It is difficult to break into the theater.
- to enter by force: They broke into the store and stole the safe.
- to sever by breaking.
- to stop suddenly; discontinue: to break off a conversation; to break off relations with one's neighbors.
- to begin abruptly; arise: An epidemic broke out.
- Pathology.(of certain diseases) to appear in eruptions.
- (of a person) to manifest a skin eruption.
- to prepare for use: to break out the parachutes.
- to take out of (storage, concealment, etc.) for consumption: to break out one's best wine.
- Nautical.to dislodge (the anchor) from the bottom.
- to escape; flee: He spent three years in prison before he broke out.
- to separate into categories or list specific items: to break out gift ideas according to price range; The report breaks out quarterly profits and losses.
- to separate; scatter.
- to put an end to; discontinue.
- to divide or become divided into pieces.
- to dissolve.
- to disrupt; upset: Television commercials during a dramatic presentation break up the continuity of effect.
- (of a personal relationship) to end: to break up a friendship; Their marriage broke up last year.
- to end a personal relationship: Bob and Mary broke up last month.
- to be or cause to be overcome with laughter: The comedian told several jokes that broke up the audience.
- to sever relations with; separate from: to break with one's family.
- to depart from; repudiate: to break with tradition.
Origin of break
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- to make or become even, smooth, or flat: The wrinkles will even out when the suit dries.
- to become equal, balanced, stable, etc.: optimistic that the situation would even out eventually.
Origin of even1
- the level of commercial activity at which the total cost and total revenue of a business enterprise are equal
- (as modifier)breakeven prices
verb breaks, breaking, broke or broken
- to burst into song, laughter, etc
- to change to a faster pace
- (often foll by against)to strike violently
- to collapse into foam or surf
- (of the male voice) to undergo a change in register, quality, and range at puberty
- (of the voice or some instruments) to undergo a change in tone, quality, etc, when changing registers
- to eat a meal, esp with others
- Christianityto administer or participate in Holy Communion
- to relieve shyness or reserve, esp between strangers
- to be the first of a group to do something
- a series of successful shots during one turn
- the points scored in such a series
- the opening shot with the cue ball that scatters the placed balls
- the right to take this first shot
- jazza short usually improvised solo passage
- an instrumental passage in a pop song
Word Origin for break
- (of a number) divisible by two
- characterized or indicated by such a numbermaps are on the even pages Compare odd (def. 4)
- a bet in which the winnings are the same as the amount staked
- (as modifier)the even-money favourite
Word Origin for even
Word Origin for even
Old English efen "level," also "equal, like; calm, harmonious; quite, fully; namely," from Proto-Germanic *ebnaz (cf. Old Saxon eban, Old Frisian even "level, plain, smooth," Dutch even, Old High German eban, German eben, Old Norse jafn, Danish jævn, Gothic ibns).
Etymologists are uncertain whether the original sense was "level" or "alike." Used extensively in Old English compounds, with a sense of "fellow, co-" (e.g. efeneald "of the same age;" Middle English even-sucker "foster-brother"). Of numbers, from 1550s. Modern adverbial sense (introducing an extreme case of something more generally implied) seems to have arisen 16c. from use of the word to emphasize identity ("Who, me?" "Even you," etc.) Sense of "on an equal footing" is from 1630s. Rhyming reduplication phrase even steven is attested from 1866; even break first recorded 1911. Even-tempered from 1875.
Old English brecan "to break, shatter, burst; injure, violate, destroy, curtail; break into, rush into; burst forth, spring out; subdue, tame" (class IV strong verb; past tense bræc, past participle brocen), from Proto-Germanic *brekan (cf. Old Frisian breka, Dutch breken, Old High German brehhan, German brechen, Gothic brikan), from PIE root *bhreg- "to break" (see fraction). Most modern senses were in Old English. In reference to the heart from early 13c. Meaning "to disclose" is from early 13c.
Break bread "share food" (with) is from late 14c. Break the ice is c.1600, in reference to the "coldness" of encounters of strangers. Break wind first attested 1550s. To break (something) out (1890s) probably is an image from dock work, of freeing cargo before unloading it. Ironic theatrical good luck formula break a leg has parallels in German Hals- und Beinbruch "break your neck and leg," and Italian in bocca al lupo. Evidence of a highly superstitious craft (cf. Macbeth).
c.1300, "act of breaking," from break (v.). Sense of "short interval between spells of work" (originally between lessons at school) is from 1861. Meaning "stroke of luck" is attested by 1911, probably an image from billiards (where the break that starts the game is attested from 1865). Meaning "stroke of mercy" is from 1914. Musical sense, "improvised passage, solo" is attested from 1920s in jazz.
"to make level," Old English efnan (see even (adj.)).
"end of the day," Old English æfen, Mercian efen, Northumbrian efern (see eve).
Neither gain nor lose in some venture, recoup the amount one invested. For example, If the dealer sells five cars a week, he'll break even. This expression probably came from one or another card game (some authorities say it was faro), where it meant to bet that a card would win and lose an equal number of times. It soon was transferred to balancing business gains and losses. Novelist Sinclair Lewis so used it in Our Mr. Wrenn (1914). The usage gave rise to the noun break-even point, for the amount of sales or production needed for a firm to recoup its investment. [Late 1800s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with break
- break a leg
- break away
- break bread
- break camp
- break cover
- break down
- break even
- break ground
- break in
- break into
- break it up
- break loose
- break of day
- break off
- break one
- break one's ass
- break one's back
- break one's balls
- break one's fall
- break one's neck
- break one's word
- break out
- break out of
- break ranks
- break someone
- break someone of something
- break someone's heart
- break someone's serve
- break someone up
- break the back of
- break the bank
- break the ice
- break the news
- break the record
- break through
- break up
- break wind
- break with
- get a break
- give someone a break
- make a break for it
- make or break
- never give a sucker an even break
- take a break
- tough break
Also see underbroke.
In addition to the idioms beginning with even
- even money
- even so
- break even
- never give a sucker an even break
- on an even keel