2 noun
break2 S2 W2

stop working

[countable] a period of time when you stop working in order to rest, eat etcCOLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
have/take a break do something without a break lunch break coffee/tea break break time BrE (=the times during the school day when there are no lessons)
We'll have a short break for lunch, then start again at 2 o'clock.
Let's take a ten-minute break.
We'd worked for ten hours without a break.
I'll go shopping during my lunch break.
You'll just have to stay in at break time and do it again.

stop doing something

[countable] a period of time when you stop doing something before you start again
break from
I wanted a break from university life.
She decided to take a career break when she had children.
break in
a welcome break in my normal routine


[countable] a short holiday:
I was beginning to feel that I needed a break.
We flew off for a week's break in Spain.
They're offering weekend breaks in Paris for only a hundred pounds.
the Easter/Christmas etc break
Are you looking forward to the summer break?

at school

[uncountable] the time during the school day when classes stop and teachers and students can rest, eat, play etc
at break
I'll speak to you at break.
They get together with their friends at break time.

on tv

[countable] a pause for advertisements during a television or radio programme:
Join us again after the break.
We'll be back with more after a short break.

something stops happening

[countable] a period of time when something stops happening before it starts again
break in
We'll go for a walk if there's a break in the rain.
Latecomers will be admitted at a suitable break in the performance.
She waited for a break in the conversation.
There was no sign of a break in the weather (=an improvement in bad weather).

end a relationship

[singular] a time when you leave a person or group, or end a relationship with someone:
I wanted a clean break so that I could restart my life.
It was years before I plucked up enough courage to make the break and leave him.
break with
He was beginning to regret his break with the Labour Party.


[countable] a space or hole in something
break in
We crawled through a break in the hedge.
The sun shone through a break in the clouds.


[countable] informal a sudden or unexpected chance to do something that allows you to become successful in your job:
There are hundreds of young musicians out there looking for their first break.
He got his first big break in 1998.


[countable] the place where a bone in your body has broken:
It's quite a bad break, which will take several months to heal.


[countable]DST a situation in a game of tennis in which you win a game when your opponent is starting the game by hitting the ball first:
She really needs a break of serve now if she wants to win this match.


[countable]DSB the number of points that a player wins when it is their turn to hit the ball in a game such as snooker

break with tradition/the past

a time when people stop following old customs and do something in a completely different way:
It is time for a complete break with the past.

make a break for something

to suddenly start running towards something in order to escape from a place:
As soon as the guard's back was turned they made a break for the door.
Two of the prisoners made a break for it but were soon recaptured.

give me/it a break!

spoken used when you want someone to stop doing or saying something that is annoying you

give somebody a break

spoken to stop being strict with someone so that a situation becomes easier for them:
Give the kid a break. It's only his second day on the job.

the break of day

literary the time early in the morning when it starts getting light

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