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break up

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phrasal verb
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theybreak up
he/she/itbreaks up
present participlebreaking up
past tensebroke up
past participlebroken up
 
  1. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] if a relationship breaks up, it ends

    The marriage broke up just a few years later.

    There were suggestions that her involvement had broken up the partnership.

    1. a.
      [intransitive/transitive] if two people break up, they end their relationship
      break up with:

      He's just broken up with his girlfriend.

  2. 3
    [intransitive/transitive] if a meeting or other event breaks up, or if you break it up, it ends and people leave

    The talks didn't break up until after midnight.

    Sorry to break up the party, but I have to go.

  3. 4
    [transitive] to stop a fight

    The police were called in to break up the rioters.

  4. 7
    [transitive] to divide a large area or a period of time into smaller parts so that it does not seem so big or long

    I usually go for a walk around three o'clock to break up the afternoon.

See also main entry: break

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