Phrasal verbs with break

Break is used in a number of common phrasal verbs. Here is a list of them. Each phrasal verb is followed by its definition. Example sentences are also given.

Break away – become separate; (of members of a group) escape; run away

Break down – a) fail to work; prove to be useless; b) become weak through overwork; c) be overcome by emotions

The car broke down on the way to work.

She broke down during the speech.

Break something down

To break something down is to use force to get it down.

Break into

To break into is to get into by force.

The police broke into the room where the captives were being held and freed them.

Break in on – interrupt, burst suddenly into

I was talking to James on the phone and suddenly the operator broke in on our call.

Break in

To break (a horse etc) in is to tame it.

We need a trainer to break in our pony.

Break something off – a) separate; b) end; stop suddenly

He broke a branch off the tree.

Alice has broken off her engagement to Peter.

Break out – begin suddenly

Cholera has broken out in the city.

Wars can break out anytime.

Break up – a) come or smash to pieces; b) (of a meeting, school term etc.) end

In a fit of fury, he broke up the television.

The meeting broke up at 6 pm.