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See also: break away



break +‎ away


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breakaway (not comparable)

  1. Having broken away from a larger unit.
    • 1946, William Brown, Hansard, 19 November, 1946, Trade Unions Closed Shop, [1]
      Nor is it true, although it has been suggested as true, that I am in favour of breakaway or splinter unions—
    • 1997, Ted Hughes, "Actaeon" in Tales from Ovid, London: Faber & Faber, p. 111, lines 144-147,
      As Actaeon turned, Melanchaetes / The ringleader of this breakaway trio / Grabbed a rear ankle / In the trap of his jaws.
    • 2016, "Iain Duncan Smith claims 'black ops' bid to 'denigrate' Leadsom," BBC News, 10 July, 2016, [2]
      [] the Sunday Times said some 20 MPs are ready to form a breakaway party if Mrs Leadsom is elected as leader over Home Secretary Theresa May []
    The breakaway republic is slowly establishing order and civil society.
  2. Capable of breaking off without damaging the larger structure.
    • 1954, "The Week in Review," Time, 30 August, 1954, [3]
      In Hollywood, rehearsing for his show, Red Skelton plunged headlong into a "breakaway" door. It didn't break, and Red was hospitalized with concussion and a mild case of shock.
    a breakaway wall
  3. (ice hockey) Occurring during or as a result of a breakaway (see Noun)
    • 2016, Scott Feschuk, "Counting down the most annoying in video review, by sport,", 10 July, 2016, [4]
      In a league starved for scoring, the challenge ensures that some super-sweet breakaway goals will be overturned because a dude was three microns offside.
  4. (entertainment industry) Enjoying rapid popular success.
    • 1976, "Sass and Class," Time, 1 November, 1976, [5]
      The New York quintet call themselves Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band, and their RCA debut LP is this season's breakaway disco act.
    • 1996, Bill Carter, "So Many New Shows, but Not One Hit," The New York Times, 14 November, 1996, [6]
      In that season, NBC added another first-year breakaway hit, Friends.
    • 2016, Chris Riotta, "Rihanna's 'Anti' Has Extensive Alternative Music Career,", 11 February, 2016, [7]
      When Rihanna released her rebellious breakaway album Anti, it marked a definitive turning point in the singer's career.



breakaway (plural breakaways)

  1. The act of breaking away from something.
    • 1932, Alan Lennox-Boyd, Hansard, 10 May, 1932, Finance Bill, [8]
      [] this Finance Bill represents a definite breakaway from the old practice of mass bribing, vote catching, and political Finance Bills which we were in grave danger of establishing as a permanent part of our national activities.
    • 1954, C. S. Lewis, The Horse and His Boy, Collins, 1998, Chapter 11,
      If the horse had been any good—or if he had known how to get any good out of the horse—he would have risked everything on a breakaway and a wild gallop.
    • 1963 September, Modern Railways, page 146:
      Following a breakaway of the test train near Huntingdon during final trials, the start of the London-Newcastle-Edinburgh "Roadrailer" service scheduled for August 19 was postponed.
    • 1992, Michael S. Serrill, "Back On Track," Time, 21 December, 1992, [9]
      During all that time, the French-speaking province of Quebec demanded additional powers to preserve its language and unique culture, while separatist pressure, generated by the Parti Quebecois, threatened breakaway if the demands were frustrated.
    • 2011, Jeffrey Weeks, The Languages of Sexuality, Routledge, p. 158,
      [] the adoption of the veil by Muslim women in West European countries is often justified as a mark of their autonomy, a breakaway from the sexualizing influences of Western culture.
  2. (cycling) A group of riders which has gone ahead of the peloton.
    • 2012, July 15. Richard Williams in Guardian Unlimited, Tour de France 2012: Carpet tacks cannot force Bradley Wiggins off track
      The summit of the climb came 38km from the end of stage 14, which began in Limoux and ended in Foix in the foothills of the Pyrenees, and the incident occurred as the peloton emerged into the light and passed under the banner at the top, a quarter of an hour behind a five-man breakaway.
  3. (ice hockey) A situation in the game where one or more players of a team attack towards the goal of the other team without having any defenders in front of them.
    • 2015, Eric MacKenzie, "Canucks fall 2-1 to Oilers in OT,", 18 October, 2015, [10]
      With the game tied 1-1 early in the third, Henrik got free on a breakaway and was stopped by Oilers goalie Anders Nilsson []
  4. (boxing) The act of getting away from one's opponent; the separation of the boxers after a spell of infighting.
    • 2011, Colleen Aycock and Mark Scott (eds.), The First Black Boxing Champions: Essays on Fighters of the 1800s to the 1920s, Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., Appendix: The Great Fights, George Dixon vs. Jack Skelly (September 6, 1892), p. 262,
      The gong sounded almost immediately after the breakaway.
  5. (Australia) A stampede of animals.
  6. (Australia) An animal that breaks away from a herd.
    • 1893, The Argus, 29 April, 1893, p. 4, col. 4, cited in Edward Ellis Morris, Austral English: A Dictionary of Australasian Words, Phrases and Usages, 1898, [11]
      The smartest stock horse that ever brought his rider up within whip distance of a breakaway or dodged the horns of a sulky beast, took the chance.
  7. (Australia, geography) An eroding steep slope on the edge of a plateau.
  8. A particular yo-yo trick [12].
    • 1958, "Scoreboard," Time, 5 August, 1958, [13]
      After watching some older kids try out for the New York City Parks Department's yo-yo championship, Stephen Awerman, an eleven-year-old from Jamaica, L.I., decided that he could hold his own with the big boys. He spun his yo-yo through the required figures—spinner, walking-the-dog, breakaway [] —then unreeled 312 loop-the-loops to latch onto the title.
  9. A swing dance in which the leader occasionally swings the follower out into an open position.


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