Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “break”


noun (INTERRUPTION)    /breɪk/
[C] an interruption: Finally there was a break in the rain and we went out.Pauses and interludes [C] mainly UK the short period of advertisements between television programmes: I'll make us a cup of tea in the next break.Pauses and interludesAdvertising, marketing and merchandisingRetailingBroadcasting in general A2 [C] a short period of rest, when food or drink is sometimes eaten: a coffee breakUK a tea break a lunch/dinner break We'll take another break at 3.30. They worked through the night without a break. Do you usually take a morning/afternoon break?Time off work [U] mainly UK (also break time) the regular time in the middle of the morning or afternoon, for school students to talk or play, and sometimes have food or drink: We were talking about it at break.Pauses and interludes B1 [C] a time away from work or your regular activity, or a holiday: Take a couple of weeks off - you need a break. How long is the Christmas break this year? We decided to have a short/spring/winter/weekend break in Paris. I'll read your report over (= during) the Easter break. I need a break from typing.Tourism and holidaysHotels and hostelsTime off work give sb a break to allow someone some time away from their work or regular activities: I babysit every Friday to give her a bit of a (= small) break.Tourism and holidaysHotels and hostelsTime off work informal to stop criticizing or annoying someone, or behaving in an unpleasant way: Give her a break - she's only a child and she didn't mean any harm.Causing something to endComing to an end
(Definition of break noun (INTERRUPTION) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of break

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Opportunity, but you might be interested in these topics from the Chance and possibility topic area:

Definitions of “break” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


a person or group who receives money, advantages, etc. as a result of something else

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More