or break-off

[ breyk-awf, ‐of ]
/ ˈbreɪkˌɔf, ‐ˌɒf /
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a discontinuation, especially abrupt, as of relations.
the action of breaking off.
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Origin of breakoff

First recorded in 1860–65; noun use of verb break off (in the sense “to stop sudddenly”)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use breakoff in a sentence

  • What a break-off, leaving the gasping reader in a state of choking suspense, of avid, ungratified curiosity!

    Ptomaine Street|Carolyn Wells
  • The whole of his break-off with Lady Helena is very well done.

  • Moreover, the break-off of diplomatic relations initiated the certain hope of a happier future.

    Mrs. Warren's Daughter|Sir Harry Johnston
  • The miners work the seam till they come to this break-off, and then call for an expert to "read the fault."

    From Sea to Sea|Rudyard Kipling

British Dictionary definitions for breakoff

break off

to sever or detach or be severed or detachedit broke off in my hands; he broke a piece off the bar of chocolate
(adverb) to end (a relationship, association, etc) or (of a relationship, etc) to be ended
(intr, adverb) to stop abruptly; halthe broke off in the middle of his speech
noun breakoff
the act or an instance of breaking off or stopping
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with breakoff

break off


Stop abruptly, as in The trade talks broke off yesterday. [First half of 1300s]


Separate, sever a connection, as in The baby broke off the tops of all the flowers, or The new sect has broken off from the established church. [First half of 1500s]


End a relationship or friendship, as in Mary broke off her engagement to Rob. [Mid-1600s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.