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breakaway

[breyk-uh-wey]
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noun
  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.
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adjective
  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.
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Origin of breakaway

First recorded in 1885–95; noun, adj. use of verb phrase break away
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

breakupseparationbreakawaydivisiondefectionriftdisunionschismdissensionsplitrupturepartingexiting

Examples from the Web for breakaway

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The breakaway of design occurs first of all at structural levels.

  • He noted the breakaway zone where the first stage and second stage were joined.

    The Scarlet Lake Mystery

    Harold Leland Goodwin

  • How did Mrs. Selim get out to Breakaway Inn, if she left her own car with the maid?

    Murder at Bridge

    Anne Austin

  • They will fight as long as one hand is free, and take care of themselves in the breakaway.

    The Game

    Jack London

  • Three days after my breakaway, I got on to a freight train and stole a ride as far as Sicamous.


British Dictionary definitions for breakaway

breakaway

noun
    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. Australian a stampede of cattle, esp at the smell of water
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verb break away (intr, adverb)
  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
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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

Word Origin and History for breakaway

1906 (n.), in reference to sports; 1930s (adj.) in reference to splinter groups; from break (v.) + away (adv.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper