- the melting and loosening of ice in rivers and harbors during the early spring.
- the first day on which such ice is soft or dispersed enough to permit ships to use the waterways.
Origin of breakup
How to use breakup in a sentence
He went on to explain that the break-up was finally, in some ways, a relief.Ted Hughes’s Brother on Losing Sylvia Plath|Gerald Hughes|December 2, 2014|DAILY BEAST
First, I asked about the action taken by the co-pilot that led to the break-up of the vehicle.Can Anyone Make Space Safe for Civilians?|Clive Irving|November 4, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Holmes may indeed desire not to be defined by her marriage to Cruise, and their very public subsequent break-up.How Can Katie Holmes Escape Tom Cruise—and ‘Dawson’s Creek’?|Tim Teeman|October 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Cressida was, at first, determined to make the break-up stick.Inside the Harry and Cressie Make Up: Britain’s Favorite Royal Is In Love|Tom Sykes|October 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A low point came when she was photographed by paparazzi crying in a Soho street after the break-up.Inside the Harry and Cressie Make Up: Britain’s Favorite Royal Is In Love|Tom Sykes|October 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Long before that, however, the sun had come back to gladden the Polar regions, and break up the reign of ancient night.The Giant of the North|R.M. Ballantyne
We only know that under certain conditions the old atomic associations break up, and new ones are formed.Outlines of the Earth's History|Nathaniel Southgate Shaler
Lake Luna was a-glare from the mainland to Cavern Island, and the freight boats had given over running until the spring break-up.The Girls of Central High on the Stage|Gertrude W. Morrison
Gradually he began to feel a little sheepish, but nevertheless he did not relinquish his desire to break up the service.The Chequers|James Runciman
What a cry for those who had been for three hours dashing on the sands, expecting every moment that the ship would break up!The Floating Light of the Goodwin Sands|R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for breakup
- in the Canadian north, the breaking up of the ice on a body of water that marks the beginning of spring
- this season
Other Idioms and Phrases with breakup
Divide into many pieces; disintegrate. For example, Now break up the head of garlic into separate cloves. [Mid-1700s]
Interrupt the continuity of something, as in A short walk will break up the long morning.
Also, break it up. Scatter, disperse, as in The crowd broke up as soon as they reached the streets. [Late 1400s] This phrase is also used as an imperative, as in “Break it up!” shouted the police officer. [c. 1930]
Bring or come to an end, as in His gambling was bound to break up their marriage.
Also, break someone up. Burst into or cause one to burst into an expression of feeling, such as laughter or tears. For example, His jokes always break me up, or That touching eulogy broke us all up, or I looked at her and just broke up. The precise meaning depends on the context. This sense grew out of a usage from the early 1800s that meant “upset” or “disturb.” [Colloquial; early 1800s]