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break - definition and synonyms


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noun [countable] break pronunciation in American English /breɪk/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    a short period of time when you stop what you are doing so that you can eat or rest
    Doctors and nurses worked 18 hours without a break.
    break from: A short nap can provide a much needed break from daily stress.
    have/take a break: We decided to take a short break.
    a lunch/coffee etc. break: They usually go shopping during their lunch break.
    1. a.
      [usually singular] a rest from the work or job that you usually do
      I could do with a break (=I need one).
      break from: The art class is the only time I can get a break from the kids.
      have/take a break (from): I decided to take a break from college and do some traveling.
    2. b.
      a short vacation
      a weekend break for two in Boston
    3. c.
      [usually singular] British a period of time when most people do not go to work
      the Easter/Christmas break
  2. 3
    a time at which one thing ends completely and a new thing begins
    Clinton represented a decisive break after 12 years of Republican dominance.
    break with: a break with the past
    make the break (=finally leave a job, relationship, etc.): a story about a woman who makes the break from an abusive relationship
    See also clean1
  3. 4
    a place where something is broken
    There was a small break at the corner of the frame.
  4. 5
    a space in something such as a line of traffic
    He waited for ages for a break in the traffic.
  5. 8
    [usually singular] an opportunity that helps you to be successful
    a lucky break
    Kiefer’s big break came with the movie Stand By Me.



a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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