Meaning of “breakthrough” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"breakthrough" in British English

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breakthroughnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈbreɪk.θruː/ us /ˈbreɪk.θruː/

B2 an important discovery or event that helps to improve a situation or provide an answer to a problem:

Scientists are hoping for a breakthrough in the search for a cure for cancer.
A major breakthrough in negotiations has been achieved.

More examples

  • This drug has been heralded as a major breakthrough in the fight against breast cancer.
  • They had minor breakthroughs but real success eluded them.
  • Biological research has often been a precursor to medical breakthroughs which benefit patients.
  • The leaders emphasized that a substantial breakthrough had been achieved, but there was more work to be done.
  • Researchers reported another important breakthrough in cancer research.

(Definition of “breakthrough” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"breakthrough" in American English

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breakthroughnoun [ C ]

us /ˈbreɪkˌθru/

an important discovery or development that helps to solve a problem:

The Polaroid camera was a technological breakthrough.

(Definition of “breakthrough” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"breakthrough" in Business English

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breakthroughnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈbreɪkθruː/ us

an important discovery or event that helps to improve a situation or provide an answer to a problem:

breakthrough in sth The development of digital imagery was a breakthrough in computer technology.
achieve/make a breakthrough At last a breakthrough in negotiations has been achieved.
a major/real/significant breakthrough

(Definition of “breakthrough” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)