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Having no breadth. – More.

BREAD'-TREE, n. [bread and tree.]

The bread-fruit tree, or Artocarpus, a tree which grows in the isles of the Pacific Ocean, of the size of an apple-tree, producing a fruit shaped like a heart, and as large as a small loaf of bread, which is eaten as food. – Encyc.


  1. A state of being open, or the act of separating; an opening made by force; an open place. It is the same word as brack, differently written and pronounced.
  2. A pause; an interruption.
  3. A line in writing or printing, noting a suspension of the sense, or a stop in the sentence.
  4. In a ship, the break of the deck is the part where it terminates, and the descent on to the next deck below commences.
  5. The first appearance of light in the morning; the dawn; as the break of day. Ar. نَرَقُ farakon, id. that is, farak.
  6. In architecture, a recess.

BREAK, v.i.

  1. To part; to separate; to divide in two; as, the ice breaks; a band breaks.
  2. To burst; as, a storm or deluge breaks. – Dryden.
  3. To burst by dashing against something; as, a wave breaks upon a rock. – Pope.
  4. To open, as a tumor or aposteme. – Harvey.
  5. To open, as the morning; to show the first light; to dawn. – Addison.
  6. To burst forth; to utter or exclaim. – Shak.
  7. To fail in trade or other occupation; to become bankrupt. – Pope.
  8. To decline in health and strength; to begin to lose the natural vigor. – Swift.
  9. To issue out with vehemence. – Pope.
  10. To make way with violence or suddenness; to rush; often with a particle; as, to break into break in upon, as calamities; to break over, as a flood; to break out, as a fire; to break forth, as light or a sound.
  11. To come to an explanation. I am to break with thee upon some affairs. – Shak. [I believe antiquated.]
  12. To suffer an interruption of friendship; to fall out. Be not afraid to break with traitors. – B. Jonson.
  13. To faint, flag, or pant. My soul breaketh, for longing to thy judgments. – Ps. cxix. To break away, to disengage itself from; to rush from; also, to dissolve itself or dissipate, as fog or clouds. To break forth, to issue out. To break from, to disengage from; to depart abruptly, or with vehemence. – Roscommon. To break in, to enter by force; to enter unexpectedly; to intrude. – Addison. To break loose, to get free by force; to escape from confinement by violence; to shake off restraint. – Milton. Tillotson. To break off, to part; to divide; also, to desist suddenly. – Bacon. To break off from, to part from with violence. – Shak. To break out, to issue forth; to discover itself by its effects, to arise or spring up; as, a fire breaks out; a sedition breaks out; a fever breaks out. – Dryden. Milton. #2. To appear in eruptions, as pustules; to have pustules, or an efflorescence on the skin, as a child breaks out. Hence we have freckle from the root of break; Welsh breç. #3. To throw off restraint, and become dissolute. – Dryden. To break up, to dissolve itself and separate; as, a company breaks up; a meeting breaks up; a fog breaks up; but more generally we say, fog, mist, clouds break away. To break with, to part in enmity; to cease to be friends; as, to break with a friend or companion. – Pope. This verb carries with it its primitive sense of straining, parting, severing, bursting, often with violence, with the consequential senses of injury, defect and infirmity.

BREAK, v.t. [pret. broke, brake, Obs. pp. broke or broken. Sax. bræcan, brecan, to break, and bracan, to bray, as in a mortar; Sw. bräka; Dan. brækker; D. braaken, breeken; G. brechen; W. bregu, to break; breg, a rent or rupture; breç, a breaking out, a freckle; Goth. brikan; Ir. bracaim, to break, to harrow; Sp. and Port. brecha, a breach; L. frango, fregi, n casual; Arm. fricga; Fr. fracas; Heb. Ch. Syr. Sam. and Ar. פרק, farak, to break, to free or deliver, to separate; Gr. φρασσω, φραγμα. These words seem also to be allied to ברן and פרן. If the first consonant is a prefix, which is probable, then connected with these words are the Gr. ῥηγνυω and ερεικω, W. rhwygaw, Arm. roga, rega, to rend. Wreck is probably of the same family. The primary sense is to strain, stretch, rack, drive; hence, to strain and burst or break. It should be noted that the Greek ῥηγη, in the Æolic dialect, is βρηγη.]

  1. To part or divide by force and violence, as a solid substance; to rend apart; as, to break a band; to break a thread or a cable.
  2. To burst or open by force. The fountains of the earth were broke open. – Burnet.
  3. To divide by piercing or penetrating; to burst forth; as, the light breaks through the clouds. – Dryden.
  4. To make breaches or gaps by battering, as in a wall. – Shak.
  5. To destroy, crush, weaken, or impair, as the human body or constitution. – Milton.
  6. To sink; to appall or subdue; as, to break the spirits or the passions. – Philips.
  7. To crush; to shatter; to dissipate the strength of, as of an army. – Dryden.
  8. To weaken, or impair, as the faculties. – Shak.
  9. To tame; to train to obedience; to make tractable; as, to break a horse. – Addison.
  10. To make bankrupt. – South.
  11. To discard, dismiss, or cashier; as, to break an officer. – Swift.
  12. To crack, to part or divide, as the skin; to open, as an aposteme.
  13. To violate, as a contract or promise, either by a positive act contrary to the promise, or by neglect or non-fulfillment.
  14. To infringe or violate, as a law, or any moral obligation, either by a positive act or by an omission of what is required. – Dryden.
  15. To stop; to interrupt; to cause to cease; as, to break conversation; to break sleep. – Shak.
  16. To intercept; to check; to lessen the force of; as, to break a fall, or a blow. – Bacon.
  17. To separate; to part; as, to break company or friendship. – Atterbury.
  18. To dissolve any union; sometimes with off; as, to break off a connection.
  19. To cause to abandon; to reform or cause to reform; as, to break one of ill habits or practices. – Grew.
  20. To open as a purpose; to propound something new; to make a first disclosure of opinions; as to break one's mind. – Bacon.
  21. To frustrate; to prevent. If plagues or earthquakes break not heaven's design. – Pope.
  22. To take away; as, to break the whole staff of bread. – Ps. cv.
  23. To stretch; to strain; to rack; as, to break one on the wheel. To break the back, to strain or dislocate the vertebers with too heavy a burden; also, to disable one's fortune. – Shak. To break bulk, to begin to unload. – Mar. Dict. To break a deer, to cut it up at table. – Johnson. To break fast, to eat the first meal in the day, but used as a compound word. To break ground, to plow. – Carew. To break ground, to dig; to open trenches. – Encyc. To break the heart, to afflict grievously; to cause great sorrow or grief; to depress with sorrow or despair. – Dryden. To break a jest, to utter a jest unexpected. – Johnson. To break the neck, to dislocate the joints of the neck. – Shak. To break off, to put a sudden stop to; to interrupt; to discontinue. Break off thy sins by righteousness. – Dan iv. #2. To sever; to divide; as, to break off a twig. To break sheer, in marine language. When a ship at anchor is in a position to keep clear of the anchor, but is forced by wind or current out of that position, she breaks her sheer. – Mar. Dict. To break up, to dissolve or put an end to; as, to break up house-keeping. #2. To open or lay open; as, to break up a bed of earth. #3. To plow ground the first time, or after lying long unplowed; a common use in the United States. #4. To separate; as, to break up a company. #5. To disband; as, to break up an army. To break upon the wheel, to stretch and break the bones by torture upon the wheel. To break wind, to give vent to wind from the body backward.


A breaking; also, an allowance for things broken, in transportation.


  1. The person who breaks any thing; a violator or transgressor; as, a breaker of the law. – South.
  2. A rock which breaks the waves; or the wave itself which breaks against a rock, a sand bank, or the shore, exhibiting a white foam. – Mar. Dict. Johnson.
  3. A pier, mound, or other solid matter, placed in a river, to break the floating ice, and prevent it from injuring a bridge below; called also ice-breaker.
  4. One that breaks up ground.
  5. A destroyer. – Micah ii.

BREAK'FAST, n. [brek'fast; break and fast.]

  1. The first meal in the day; or the thing eaten at the first meal.
  2. A meal or food in general. – Dryden.

BREAK'FAST, v.i. [brek'fast.]

To eat the first meal in the day.

BREAK'FAST, v.t. [brek'fast.]

To furnish with the first meal in the morning.


A party at breakfast. – Chesterfield.


Eating or taking the first meal in the day.


Parting by violence; rending asunder; becoming bankrupt.

BREAK'NECK, n. [break and neck.]

A fall that breaks the neck; a steep place endangering the neck. – Shak.

BREAK'PROM-ISE, n. [break and promise.]

One who makes a practice of breaking his promise. [Not used.] – Shak.

BREAK'VOW, n. [break and vow.]

One who habitually breaks his vows. [Not used.] – Shak.

BREAK'WA-TER, n. [break and water.]

  1. The hull of an old vessel sunk at the entrance of a harbor, to break or diminish the force of the waves, to secure the vessels in harbor. – Mar. Dict.
  2. A small buoy fastened to a large one, when the rope of the latter is not long enough to reach the surface of the water. – Mar. Dict.
  3. Any mole, mound or wall, raised in a river or estuary, or harbor, to break the force of the waves, and protect shipping, &c.

BREAM, n. [Fr. breme; Ch. אברומה, abrumah; Sp. brema.]

A fish, the Cyprinus brama, an inhabitant of lakes and deep water, extremely insipid and little valued. – Encyc. Walton.

BREAM, v.t.

In sea language, to burn off the filth, such as grass, sea weed, ooze, &c. from a ship's bottom. – Mar. Dict.

BREAST, n. [brest; Sax. breast; Sw. bröst; D. borst, the breast, a lad, a notch; G. brust, breast, and brüsten, to hold up the head, to look big; Dan. bröst, breast; also default, defect, blemish; also, bryst, breast, pap; bryster sig, to strut; brister, to burst. The sense seems to be a protuberance.]

  1. The soft, protuberant body, adhering to the thorax, which, in females, furnishes milk for infants. His breasts are full of milk. – Job xxi. 24.
  2. The fore part of the thorax, or the fore part of the human body between the neck and the belly.
  3. The part of a beast which answers to the breast in man. This, in quadrupeds, is between the fore legs, below the neck.
  4. Figuratively, the heart; the conscience; the disposition of the mind; the affections; the seat of the affections and passions. – Cowley. Dryden.
  5. Formerly, the power of singing. – Tusser.

BREAST, v.t. [brest.]

To meet in front; to oppose breast to breast. – Goldsmith. Dryden. The court breasted the popular current by sustaining the demurrer. – Wirt.

BREAST'BONE, n. [breast and bone.]

The bone of the breast; the sternum. – Peacham.

BREAST'-CASK-ET, n. [breast and casket.]

One of the largest and longest of the caskets or strings on the middle of the yard of a ship. – Johnson. [I do not find this word in the Mariner's Dictionary.]


Breast high; as high as the breast.


Having a broad breast; having a fine voice. – Fiddes.