breach - definition and synonyms

noun [countable] 

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  1. 1
    a failure to follow a law or rule
    breach of:

    Reproduction of the CD constitutes a breach of copyright.

    be in breach of something:

    The company was found to be in breach of environmental regulations.

    1. a.
      a failure to do something that you have promised to do or that people expect you to do
      breach of contract:

      If you don’t deliver on time, you could be sued for breach of contract.

      breach of trust/confidentiality:

      a clear breach of patient confidentiality

    2. b.
      a situation in which someone does something that goes against accepted rules of social behaviour

      an embarrassing breach of etiquette

  2. 2
    formal a serious disagreement

    This could lead to a major breach in our relationship with China.