A rapid and sharp price decline. The New York Times Financial Glossary

* * *

I. break break 1 [breɪk] verb broke PASTTENSE [brəʊk ǁ broʊk] broken PASTPART [ˈbrəʊkən ǁ ˈbroʊ-]
1. [transitive] if someone breaks a law, rule, agreement etc, they do not do what it says they should do:

• If you copy music files from the Internet, you could easily be breaking the law .

• The other company broke the terms of its agreement.

2. if employers break a strike, they force the strikers to end it, perhaps with the help of the army or the police:

• He broke the ambulancemen's strike by getting the army to answer emergency calls.

3. break even to neither make a profit nor lose money:

• The company needs to charge $13 a ton to break even.

• The retailer warns that it expects sales to be down by 15%, and it may only break even.

break down phrasal verb
1. [transitive] break something → down to separate information or a total amount into parts, especially so that it is easier to understand:

• Once the statistics are broken down, some clear patterns of employment begin to emerge.

2. [intransitive] if talks break down, they fail and come to an end because the people involved cannot agree:

• The meeting between management and unions broke down and no progress was made.

break something → up phrasal verb [intransitive, transitive]
1. if a company or group breaks up or is broken up, it is divided into smaller companies:

• The new chairman plans to break up the group into more autonomous subsidiaries.

2. if someone breaks up an arrangement or agreement, or if it is broken up, it ends:

• Japan's Fair Trade Commission ordered 13 ink makers to break up a price-fixing cartel.

  [m0] II. break break 2 noun [countable]
1. a period of time when you stop working or stop what you are doing in order to rest, eat, take a holiday etc:

• He was entitled to a forty-five minute lunch break.

• Employers must provide people who work at computers with rest breaks.

ˈbio break
informal a period of time when you stop working in order to go to the toilet
ˈcity break TRAVEL
a short holiday in a large city:

• Book now and make huge savings on city breaks to Paris, Berlin and Edinburgh.

ˈmini break TRAVEL
a holiday lasting two or three days:

• a mini break in London from the 1st - 3rd June

2. also comˌmercial ˈbreak a pause for advertisements during a television or radio programme:

• We'll be back with more music after the break.

3. FINANCE a sudden, large fall in market prices, especially the price of shares on a stockmarket:

• The big break in cattle prices has forced ranchers to stop selling young cattle.

4. a sudden or unexpected chance to do something, especially to be successful in your job:

• She got her first break in 1951 on Broadway.

• He did small commercials for Yellow Pages before getting his big break with the Porsche advert.

5. a period of several weeks or years during which something stops, before continuing again:
mini break in

• If you have a break in paid employment for two complete consecutive tax years, you must pay full-rate contributions when you return to work.

caˈreer break
a period of time when you do not work in your usual job or profession, for example because you want to take care of your children:

• women taking a career break to bring up a family

* * *

break UK US /breɪk/ verb [T] (broke, broken)
to do something that is against a law, or not do something that you should do or have promised to do: break the law »

He didn't know he was breaking the law when he gave her the information.


break a promise/agreement/contract

to bring something to an end, especially suddenly or forcefully: »

The company needs to break the spiral of borrowing and spending.

break a strike »

Outside workers were hired in an attempt to break the strike.

to reach a higher level of performance than previously: break a barrier »

The company's market share had broken the 25% barrier for the first time.

break a record »

Yesterday Roger broke the record for monthly sales.

US INFORMAL to exchange a large bill (= piece of paper money) for bills or coins in smaller amounts: »

Can you break a twenty for me, please?

break your back — Cf. break your back
break even — Cf. break even
break ground — Cf. break ground
break new ground — Cf. break new ground
break the bank — Cf. break the bank
break UK US /breɪk/ noun [C]
WORKPLACE a short period of rest, when food or drink is sometimes taken: »

a coffee/tea break


Where do you go in your lunch break?

have/take a break »

We'll work through till lunch but take a short break at 11 o'clock.

a time away from work or from a regular activity: »

the Christmas break


She resumed her career after a two-year break.

a short period when a radio or television programme is interrupted by announcements or advertisements: »

We'll be right back after the break.

US a reduction in the amount that has to be paid for something: »

They are changing their pricing policy and offering small investors a big price break.

break on sth »

New customers will be given a break on maintenance fees.

an opportunity for improving a situation, especially one which happens unexpectedly: »

Her big break came when she was offered a major part in a new movie.

a break above/below sth — Cf. a break below sth
See also BIO BREAK(Cf. ↑bio break), CAREER BREAK(Cf. ↑career break), TAX BREAK(Cf. ↑tax break)

Financial and business terms. 2012.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Break — (br[=a]k), v. t. [imp. {broke} (br[=o]k), (Obs. {Brake}); p. p. {Broken} (br[=o] k n), (Obs. {Broke}); p. pr. & vb. n. {Breaking}.] [OE. breken, AS. brecan; akin to OS. brekan, D. breken, OHG. brehhan, G. brechen, Icel. braka to creak, Sw. braka …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Break — (br[=a]k), v. i. 1. To come apart or divide into two or more pieces, usually with suddenness and violence; to part; to burst asunder. [1913 Webster] 2. To open spontaneously, or by pressure from within, as a bubble, a tumor, a seed vessel, a bag …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • break — vb Break, crack, burst, bust, snap, shatter, shiver are comparable as general terms meaning fundamentally to come apart or cause to come apart. Break basically implies the operation of a stress or strain that will cause a rupture, a fracture, a… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • break — ► VERB (past broke; past part. broken) 1) separate into pieces as a result of a blow, shock, or strain. 2) make or become inoperative; stop working. 3) interrupt (a continuity, sequence, or course). 4) fail to observe (a law, regulation, or… …   English terms dictionary

  • break — [brāk] vt. broke, broken, breaking [ME breken < OE brecan < IE base * bhreg > BREACH, BREECH, Ger brechen, L frangere] 1. to cause to come apart by force; split or crack sharply into pieces; smash; burst 2. a) …   English World dictionary

  • break — / brāk/ vb broke / brōk/, bro·ken, / brō kən/, break·ing, / brā kiŋ/ vt 1 a: violate transgress break the law …   Law dictionary

  • break — [n1] fissure, opening breach, cleft, crack, discontinuity, disjunction, division, fracture, gap, gash, hole, rent, rift, rupture, schism, split, tear; concepts 230,757 Ant. association, attachment, binding, combination, fastening, juncture break… …   New thesaurus

  • Break — (br[=a]k), n. [See {Break}, v. t., and cf. {Brake} (the instrument), {Breach}, {Brack} a crack.] 1. An opening made by fracture or disruption. [1913 Webster] 2. An interruption of continuity; change of direction; as, a break in a wall; a break in …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • break-up — break ups also breakup 1) N COUNT: usu N of n, n N The break up of a marriage, relationship, or association is the act of it finishing or coming to an end because the people involved decide that it is not working successfully. Since the break up… …   English dictionary

  • break up — {v.} 1. To break into pieces. * /The workmen broke up the pavement to dig up the pipes under it./ * /River ice breaks up in the spring./ 2. {informal} To lose or destroy spirit or self control. Usually used in the passive. * /Mrs. Lawrence was… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • break up — {v.} 1. To break into pieces. * /The workmen broke up the pavement to dig up the pipes under it./ * /River ice breaks up in the spring./ 2. {informal} To lose or destroy spirit or self control. Usually used in the passive. * /Mrs. Lawrence was… …   Dictionary of American idioms

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