Definition of break a sweat in US English:

break a sweat

(British break sweat)

phrase

informal
  • Exert oneself physically.

    • ‘He has certainly struggled to break sweat against the calibre of opponent trying to halt his progress thus far this week.’
    • ‘You should be able to surmount any obstacle without breaking a sweat or wrinkling your little tennis outfit.’
    • ‘After half-an-hour he lost Roy Keane, but they still hardly broke sweat as they swept their rivals aside with ease.’
    • ‘They began against a novice England side at Twickenham and hardly broke sweat in winning 19-3.’
    • ‘With a cool climate, you'll barely break a sweat.’
    • ‘Ordinarily, he could have dispatched the challenger without breaking a sweat.’
    • ‘They hardly broke a sweat until the final, when the nerves started to surface, but they eventually snatched it from Ballinrobe.’
    • ‘He tossed in a few highlights for the paying public before sneaking to the bench, smiling and winking at someone in the crowd, as if he hardly broke a sweat and it will all be so easy.’
    • ‘Jack can cook a bird and four side dishes for eight people without breaking a sweat while also managing to keep track of numerous football and two basketball games.’
    • ‘Daddy fixes a door, clips the hedges, hangs a picture, builds a bird feeder, washes and waxes the car, chops wood, saws wood, pounds nails and on and on, never, ever breaking a sweat.’
    make an effort, try hard, strive, endeavour, apply oneself, do one's best, do all one can, do one's utmost, give one's all, make every effort, spare no effort, be at pains, put oneself out
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