See more synonyms for breakaway on
  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.

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. 2018

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. 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
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
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