The word ‘break‘ can mean many different things. As a verb, the meaning is to separate (by accident or due to age) or interrupt.

For example:

  • My sister broke my toy car. (separate)
  • My lie-in was broken by a noisy cat. (interrupt)


Break is an irregular verb. The past tense is broke and the past participle is broken.

phrasal verbs with break

Phrasal verbs with ‘break’ include:

  • break away
    meaning – separate from the group, escape
    example – A wildebeest broke away from the herd and was killed by a pride of lions.
  • break down
    meaning – start crying, when a machine stops working
    example – Rachel broke down in tears when she found out that she had failed.
  • break in/into
    meaning – force entry into a building, vehicle, or object
    example – I’m going to break into my piggy bank and see how much money I’ve saved for my holiday.
  • break out in something
    meaning – develop a condition
    example – I broke out in spots after trying a new face cream.
  • break out
    meaning – escape from somewhere
    example – My face has broken out in spots since I tried a new face cream.
  • break something down
    meaning – divide into smaller parts
    example – Let`s break the contract down into smaller parts so it doesn’t seem so scary.
  • break up
    meaning – end a relationship with someone, separate into smaller pieces
    example – Can you break up the chocolate into squares? It`ll melt faster.

picture phrasal verbs with break

phrasal verbs with break

Let’s learn the meaning of the phrasal verbs that contain the verb ‘break’ in more detail and see some examples in use.

phrasal verbs with break - break away
phrasal verbs with break - break down
phrasal verbs with break - break in/into
phrasal verbs with break - break out in
phrasal verbs with break - break out
phrasal verbs with break - break something down
phrasal verbs with break - break - break up

You can download a table of phrasal verbs with break below.

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Click the links below to learn more phrasal verbs with pictures of go to the main phrasal verbs groups page to see the full list.