breaking

1
[ brey-king ]
/ ˈbreɪ kɪŋ /

noun

Phonology. the change of a pure vowel to a diphthong, especially in certain environments, as, in Old English, the change of a vowel to a diphthong under the influence of a following consonant or combination of consonants, as the change of -a- to -ea- and of -e- to -eo- before preconsonantal r or l and before h, as in earm “arm” developed from arm, and eorthe “earth” from erthe.

Origin of breaking

1
1870–75; translation of German Brechung; see break, -ing1
Also called vowel fracture.

Definition for breaking (2 of 3)

breaking

2
[ brey-king ]
/ ˈbreɪ kɪŋ /

noun

Origin of breaking

2
by ellipsis

Definition for breaking (3 of 3)

Origin of break

before 900; Middle English breken, Old English brecan; cognate with Dutch breken, German brechen, Gothic brikan; akin to Latin frangere; see fragile

Related forms

Can be confused

brake break

Synonym study

1. Break, crush, shatter, smash mean to reduce to parts, violently or by force. Break means to divide by means of a blow, a collision, a pull, or the like: to break a chair, a leg, a strap. To crush is to subject to (usually heavy or violent) pressure so as to press out of shape or reduce to shapelessness or to small particles: to crush a beetle. To shatter is to break in such a way as to cause the pieces to fly in many directions: to shatter a light globe. To smash is to break noisily and suddenly into many pieces: to smash a glass.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for breaking

British Dictionary definitions for breaking (1 of 2)

breaking

/ (ˈbreɪkɪŋ) /

noun

linguistics (in Old English, Old Norse, etc) the change of a vowel into a diphthong

Word Origin for breaking

C19: translation of German Brechung

British Dictionary definitions for breaking (2 of 2)

break

/ (breɪk) /

verb breaks, breaking, broke or broken

noun

interjection

boxing wrestling a command by a referee for two opponents to separate

Word Origin for break

Old English brecan; related to Old Frisian breka, Gothic brikan, Old High German brehhan, Latin frangere Sanskrit bhráj bursting forth
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

Idioms and Phrases with breaking

break


In addition to the idioms beginning with break

  • break a leg
  • break away
  • break bread
  • break camp
  • break cover
  • break down
  • break even
  • break ground
  • break in
  • break into
  • break it up
  • break loose
  • break of day
  • break off
  • break one
  • break one's ass
  • break one's back
  • break one's balls
  • break one's fall
  • break one's neck
  • break one's word
  • break out
  • break out of
  • break ranks
  • break someone
  • break someone of something
  • break someone's heart
  • break someone's serve
  • break someone up
  • break the back of
  • break the bank
  • break the ice
  • break the news
  • break the record
  • break through
  • break up
  • break wind
  • break with

also see:

  • get a break
  • give someone a break
  • make a break for it
  • make or break
  • never give a sucker an even break
  • take a break
  • tough break

Also see underbroke.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.