Break up

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Alternative forms


to break up (third-person singular simple present breaks up, present participle breaking up, simple past broke up, past participle broken up)

  1. (intransitive) To break or separate into pieces; to disintegrate or come apart.
    It broke up when it hit the ground.
  2. (intransitive, idiomatic) To end a relationship.
    She broke up with her boyfriend last week.
  3. (intransitive, idiomatic) To dissolve; to part.
    The meeting finally broke up after a three-hour discussion.
    • 1898, J. Meade Falkner , Moonfleet Chapter 4
      So the meeting broke up, and the torchlight grew dimmer, and died away as it had come in a red flicker on the roof, and the footsteps sounded fainter as they went up the passage, until the vault was left to the dead men and me.
  4. (intransitive, idiomatic) Of a school, to close for the holidays at the end of term.
  5. (intransitive, idiomatic) Of a telephone conversation, to cease to be understandable because of a bad connection.
    You're breaking up. Can you repeat that?
  6. (transitive) To break or separate into pieces.
    Break up the cheese and put it in the salad.
  7. (transitive, idiomatic) To stop a fight; to separate people who are fighting.
    The police came in to break up the disturbance.


ablate, accommodate, adapt, adjust, alter, ameliorate, amuse, analyze, anatomize, assay, atomize, be in stitches, beguile, better, bite the dust, break, break down, break into pieces, break open, break to pieces, burst, burst into laughter, burst out, burst out laughing, burst with laughter, bust a gut, cachinnate, cackle, canker, change, chortle, chuckle, come apart, come to dust, come unstuck, consume, convert, convulse, corrode, corrupt, crack, crack up, crash, crow, crumble, crumble into dust, crumble to dust, crunch, crush, cut to pieces, deactivate, debrief, decay, decompose, deform, delight, demob, demobilize, demolish, denature, detach, differ, differentiate, diffuse, disband, discharge, disintegrate, disjoin, disjoint, dismiss, disorganize, dispel, disperse, disrupt, dissect, dissent, dissever, dissolve, disunify, disunite, divaricate, diverge, diversify, divert, divide, effloresce, enliven, entertain, erode, exhilarate, fall, fall into decay, fall to dust, fall to pieces, fester, fission, fissure, fit, fracture, fracture one, fragment, gangrene, giggle, give away, give way, go bad, go into convulsions, go separate ways, go to pieces, grain, granulate, grind, guffaw, ha-ha, hee-haw, hee-hee, ho-ho, horselaugh, improve, kill, knock dead, laugh, laugh it up, laugh outright, let go, loosen up, make mincemeat of, meliorate, mildew, mince, mitigate, modify, modulate, mold, molder, mortify, muster out, mutate, nearly die laughing, necrose, overthrow, part, part company, powder, pulverize, putrefy, putresce, qualify, raise a laugh, raise a smile, rankle, re-create, realign, rebuild, reconstruct, recreate, redesign, reduce, reduce to elements, refit, reform, refresh, regale, relax, release, relieve, remake, renew, reshape, resolve, restructure, revamp, revive, ring the changes, roar, roar with laughter, rot, rupture, scatter, segment, separate, shake like jelly, shake with laughter, shatter, shift the scene, shiver, shout, shriek, shuffle the cards, slay, smash, smash up, snap, snicker, snigger, snort, solace, sphacelate, splinter, split, split up, split with laughter, spoil, spring a leak, squash, squish, start, subdivide, subvert, sunder, suppurate, tee-hee, tickle, titillate, titter, topple, tumble, turn the scale, turn the tables, turn the tide, turn upside down, variate, variegate, vary, waste away, wear away, work a change, worsen, wow, yuk-yuk


See also


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