break one's fast

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break one's fast (third-person singular simple present breaks one's fast, present participle breaking one's fast, simple past broke one's fast, past participle broken one's fast)

  1. (dated) To eat breakfast; to eat the first meal of the day after a night of not eating or to conclude any period of fasting by consuming food.
    • 1816, Sir Walter Scott, chapter 15, in The Antiquary—Volume II:
      His servant placed before him a slice of toasted bread, with a glass of fair water, being the fare on which he usually broke his fast.
    • 1905, George Bernard Shaw, chapter 3, in The Irrational Knot:
      Thinking that it might be Lord Carbury, and that, if so, he would probably not wait until half past nine to break his fast, she ran gaily off.
  2. To conclude any period of intentional fasting (usually for religious or medical reasons) by consuming food.



  • Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989. See entry for "break."