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circuit breaker

[ sur-kit brey-ker ]
/ ˈsɜr kɪt ˌbreɪ kər /
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noun
Also called breaker .Electricity. a device for interrupting an electric circuit to prevent excessive current, as that caused by a short circuit, from damaging the apparatus in the circuit or from causing a fire.
Also called trading halt or trading curb .Stock Exchange. a temporary halt in trading automatically imposed when stock prices reach a predetermined level, as to check panic selling.
a lockdown or set of tight restrictions imposed for a fixed, usually short period to halt the spread of a highly transmissible infection (often used attributively): Circuit breakers only succeed if additional measures are taken, such as contact tracing and increased testing.
Australia, New Zealand. an activity serving to relieve or distract from stresses that might otherwise overwhelm: Sometimes a day out of the office is the best circuit breaker after a tense week.
any property-tax relief measure that reduces or limits property taxes for certain eligible taxpayers, as those with low income or the elderly.
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Origin of circuit breaker

An Americanism dating back to 1870–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use circuit breaker in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for circuit breaker

circuit breaker

noun
a device that under abnormal conditions, such as a short circuit, interrupts the flow of current in an electrical circuitSometimes shortened to: breaker Compare fuse 2 (def. 6)
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

Scientific definitions for circuit breaker

circuit breaker

A switch that automatically interrupts the flow of electric current if the current exceeds a preset limit, measured in amperes. Circuit breakers are used most often as a safety precaution where excessive current through a circuit could be hazardous. Unlike fuses, they can usually be reset and reused.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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