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break off - definition and synonyms

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phrasal verb
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theybreak off
he/she/itbreaks off
present participlebreaking off
past tensebroke off
past participlebroken off
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  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to stop doing something, especially speaking
    Linda broke off, realizing that she was wrong.
    People would break off their conversations when she came into the room.
  2. 2
    [transitive] to end a relationship or a discussion
    break off an engagement (=end an agreement to get married): Did you know they’ve broken off their engagement?
    break it off (=to end a romantic relationship): I’ve decided to break it off with her.
    break off relations/contact: The two countries have broken off diplomatic relations.
  3. 3
    [transitive] if you break a piece off something, you remove it from the main part
    Each child broke off a piece of bread.
    1. a.
      [intransitive] if a part of something breaks off, it becomes separated from the main part
      Part of the chimney broke off and fell to the ground.
See also main entry: break

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