Phrasal verbs with break

Break off = end; stop abruptly

Nobody knows why Alice decided to break off her engagement to Benjamin.

He broke off in the middle of his speech.

Break away (= become separate)

The boy broke away from his friends.

Break down = fail to work; go wrong; prove to be useless

My computer has broken down.

Break something down = use force to get it down

As she refused to open the door I had to break it down.

Break into = get into by force; start something suddenly

You can break into a fort, but not into a heart.

She broke into tears. (= suddenly started crying)

Break in on = interrupt; burst suddenly into

Break out = begin suddenly

War can break out any time.

Break up = come or smash into pieces; scatter

She broke up the chocolate bar.

That argument broke up their friendship.

Police used tear-gas to break up the mob.

Break the back of = finish the greater or more difficult part of a piece of work

Break the ice = overcome reserve and get conversation started

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