To separate into components or parts: broke the work into discrete tasks.
To snap off or detach: broke a twig from the tree.
To fracture a bone of: I broke my leg.
To fracture (a bone): I broke my femur.
To crack without separating into pieces.
To destroy the completeness of (a group of related items): broke the set of books by giving some away.
To exchange for smaller monetary units: break a dollar.
To vary or disrupt the uniformity or continuity of: a plain that was broken by low hills; caught the ball without breaking stride.
Electricity To render (a circuit) inoperative by disruption; open.
To force or make a way through; puncture or penetrate: The blade barely broke the skin.
To part or pierce the surface of: a dolphin breaking water.
To produce (a sweat) copiously on the skin, as from exercise.
To force one's way out of; escape from: break jail.
To make or bring about by cutting or forcing: break a trail through the woods.
To find an opening or flaw in: They couldn't break my alibi.
To find the solution or key to; uncover the basic elements and arrangement of: break a code; break a spy ring.
To make known, as news: break a story.
To surpass or outdo: broke the league's home-run record.
To overcome or put an end to, especially by force or strong opposition: break a deadlock in negotiations; break a strike.
Sports To win a game on (an opponent's service), as in tennis.
To lessen the force or effect of: break a fall.
To render useless or inoperative: We accidentally broke the radio.
To weaken or destroy, as in spirit or health; overwhelm with adversity: "For a hero loves the world till it breaks him” ( William Butler Yeats).