Origin of breakaway

First recorded in 1885–95; noun, adj. use of verb phrase break away Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for breakaway

Contemporary Examples of breakaway

Historical Examples of breakaway

  • 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



  1. loss or withdrawal of a group of members from an association, club, etc
  2. (as modifier)a breakaway faction
  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
Australian a stampede of cattle, esp at the smell of water

verb break away (intr, adverb)

(often foll by from) to leave hastily or escape
to withdraw or secede
sport to make a breakaway
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

Word Origin and History for breakaway

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper