Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


He then closed the meeting, which broke up in the highest spirits.

He was hardly aware of how he broke up the party and sent them away.

And so this supper party, assembled in honour of Autolycus, broke up.

And then, as the hour was come, they broke up the meeting and took their rest.

After that, I believe the house ceased business, or broke up.

I think we broke up soon after, and descended to the lower rooms.

By that time the great procession was all broke up and gone home.

You're broke up, though you're making a bluff not to show it.

He told me of the girl he married and worshipped, and of the man who broke up his home.

In other words, like Horus, he broke up the clouds and brought rain.


Old English brecan "to break, shatter, burst; injure, violate, destroy, curtail; break into, rush into; burst forth, spring out; subdue, tame" (class IV strong verb; past tense bræc, past participle brocen), from Proto-Germanic *brekan (cf. Old Frisian breka, Dutch breken, Old High German brehhan, German brechen, Gothic brikan), from PIE root *bhreg- "to break" (see fraction). Most modern senses were in Old English. In reference to the heart from early 13c. Meaning "to disclose" is from early 13c.

Break bread "share food" (with) is from late 14c. Break the ice is c.1600, in reference to the "coldness" of encounters of strangers. Break wind first attested 1550s. To break (something) out (1890s) probably is an image from dock work, of freeing cargo before unloading it. Ironic theatrical good luck formula break a leg has parallels in German Hals- und Beinbruch "break your neck and leg," and Italian in bocca al lupo. Evidence of a highly superstitious craft (cf. Macbeth).

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.