• synonyms

circuit breaker

See more synonyms for circuit breaker on Thesaurus.com
  1. Electricity. Also called breaker. 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.
  2. 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. 2018

Related Words

breaker, fuse

Examples from the Web for circuit breaker

Historical Examples

  • The circuit-breaker worked and the alternating current did the rest.

    Pirates of the Gorm

    Nat Schachner

  • In our first circuit (A) there is a battery and a circuit-breaker, which is a common telegraph-key.

  • There were two circuit-breaker chambers, one at Station 286 and the other at Station 310.

  • The accompanying cut shows the combination of battery B, the circuit-breaker, and the rod mounted upon the box.

    The Telephone

    A. E. Dolbear

  • A circuit-breaker may be set so as to open its connections in one or more seconds after a certain current begins to flow.

British Dictionary definitions for circuit breaker

circuit breaker

  1. 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)
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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

circuit breaker in Science

circuit breaker

  1. 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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.