- 1 [countable] a short period of time when you stop what you are doing and rest, eat, etc. a coffee/lunch break Let's take a break. a break for lunch She worked all day without a break. Thesaurusrestbreak respite time out breathing roomThese are all words for a short period of time spent relaxing.rest a period of relaxing, sleeping, or doing nothing after a period of activity:We stopped for a well-deserved rest.break a short period of time when you stop what you are doing and rest or eat:Let's take a break.respite a short break from something difficult or unpleasant:The medicine brought a brief respite from the pain.time out (informal) time for resting or relaxing away from your usual work or studies:Let's take (some) time out to gather our thoughts.breathing room a short rest in the middle of a busy period:I've got very little breathing room in my afternoon schedule.Patterns (a) rest/break/respite/time out from something to have/take (a) rest/break/time out to give somebody (a) rest/break/respite/breathing room
- 2 [countable] a pause or period of time when something stops before starting again a break in my daily routine Her comment caused an awkward break in their conversation.
- 3[countable] a pause for advertisements in the middle of a television or radio program More news after the break. vacation
- 4 [countable] a short vacation We had a weekend break in New York. a well-earned break opening/space
- 5 [countable] break (in something) a space or an opening between two or more things We could see the moon through a break in the clouds. Wait for a break in traffic before crossing the road. opportunity
- 6 [countable] (informal) an opportunity to do something, usually to get something that you want or to achieve success I got my lucky break when I won a “Young Journalist of the Year” competition. We've had a few bad breaks (= pieces of bad luck) along the way. If you would just give me a break, you won't regret it. change in situation
- 7 [singular] the moment when a situation, or a relationship that has existed for a time changes, ends or is interrupted break (with somebody/something) He needed to make a complete break with the past. a break with tradition/convention (= a change from what is accepted, in something such as art, behavior, etc.) break (in something) a break in the weather (= a change from one type of weather to a different one) a break in diplomatic relations of bone
- 8[countable] a place where something, especially a bone in your body, has broken The X-ray showed there was no break in his leg. in tennis
- 9(also break of serve) [countable] a win in a game in which your opponent is serving It was her second break in the set. see also break point (2) in billiards
- 10 [countable] a series of successful shots by one player; the number of points scored in a series of successful shots He put together a magnificent break. Idioms
- 1a complete separation from a person, an organization, a way of life, etc. She wanted to make a clean break with the past.
- 2a break in a bone in one place
short stop/pausenounjump to other results
the moment in the early hours of the morning when it begins to get light
break of day/dawn(literary)jump to other results
a clean breakjump to other results
to give someone a chance; to not judge someone too severely Give the guy a break—it's only his second day on the job.
give somebody a breakjump to other results
used when someone wants someone else to stop doing or saying something that is annoying, or to stop saying something that is not true
give me a break!(informal)jump to other results
to run toward something in order to try and escape He suddenly leapt up and made a break for the door. They decided to make a break for it (= to try and escape) that night.
make a break for something/for itjump to other results