View synonyms for breakaway


[ breyk-uh-wey ]


  1. an act or instance of breaking away; secession; separation:

    the breakaway of two provinces from a state.

  2. a departure or break from routine or tradition:

    a three-day breakaway in the Bahamas.

  3. a person or thing that breaks away.
  4. an object, as a theatrical prop, constructed so that it breaks or falls apart easily, especially upon impact.
  5. Ice Hockey. a sudden rush down the ice by a player or players in an attempt to score a goal, after breaking clear of defending opponents.
  6. Football. a run by an offensive player breaking through the defense for a long gain.
  7. Basketball. fast break.
  8. Australian.
    1. a stampede.
    2. an animal that breaks away from the herd or flock.


  1. of, relating to, or being that which separates or secedes:

    the breakaway faction of the Socialist party.

  2. departing from routine or tradition.
  3. constructed of such lightweight material or in such a way as to shatter or come apart easily:

    breakaway highway signposts; Build a breakaway set for the barroom brawl.

  4. (of theatrical costumes) constructed so as to be quickly removable, as by a performer playing several roles.


/ ˈbreɪkəˌweɪ /


    1. loss or withdrawal of a group of members from an association, club, etc
    2. ( as modifier )

      a breakaway faction

  1. sport
    1. a sudden attack, esp from a defensive position, in football, hockey, etc
    2. an attempt to get away from the rest of the field in a race
  2. a stampede of cattle, esp at the smell of water
“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


  1. often foll by from to leave hastily or escape
  2. to withdraw or secede
  3. sport to make a breakaway
  4. horse racing to start prematurely
“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
Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of breakaway1

First recorded in 1885–95; noun, adj. use of verb phrase break away
Discover More

Example Sentences

His platform argued for the cultivation of a stronger relationship between the democratic self-ruled island and Mainland China, which views Taiwan as a breakaway province that must be brought back under its control—by force if necessary.

From Time

In a stage with an early breakaway, maybe no one really needed to max out their five-second power.

He made 15 saves in the first period, including on a breakaway chance and subsequent rebound attempt from Mathew Barzal in the final two minutes.

Ryan, Grace, Tony, you’re the only ones I want to form a breakaway league with.

Sky Sports commentator Gary Neville, who had a lengthy playing career for breakaway team Manchester United, was among the most prominent voices of dissent early on.

Is it too much to say that this al Qaeda breakaway widely known as ISIS or ISIL is really just a collection of serial killers?

They are a breakaway faction from Fatah, the dominant party in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

My coaches at Breakaway Performance Labs found that I needed to maintain a heart rate of 168-178 beats/min.

Meanwhile, tensions are rising in Moldova's breakaway region of Transnistria, where 2,500 Russian troops are based.

These people, like those in the breakaway regions of Georgia, wanted independence and autonomy, not Russian rule.

His eyes searched for the exit, and found it—a red-painted breakaway panel, standard for a hot lab.

No striking in the clinches, but either party is free to hit his opponent in the breakaway.

I have an old uncle out at Breakaway, and he will tell you about the fortune with his own lips—I shall make him do so.

Every instant of it was intense watchfulness, while the breakaway was still more dangerous.

The only disturbance comes when Selma butts in pushin' the tea cart, and, just from force of habit, I makes a panicky breakaway.


Related Words




break and entrybreakbeat