Definition of breakaway in US English:



  • 1A divergence or radical change from something established or long standing.

    ‘rock was a breakaway from pop’
    as modifier ‘the breakaway hit movie’
    • ‘On its roof is a terrace for the doctors, set next to their library restroom, another breakaway from rhythmic discipline.’
    • ‘This is a breakaway from the traditional five-night run so be sure to book your seat before it is too late.’
    • ‘A real breakaway from their studies is in store for two Killarney students in March as they head off to Helsinki to take part in EU debates.’
    • ‘And ABC has the breakaway hit Millionaire airing thrice weekly throughout the summer.’
    • ‘If you happen to have a film that has legs and good word of mouth, and you do a serious spend on it, then you stand a chance at a breakaway hit.’
    • ‘For a change, this is a breakaway from the celluloid kitsch that prospers on the objectification and commodification of women in cinema.’
    • ‘This change in art is part of the general breakaway from age-long habits of thought that the Greeks achieved in the 5th century BC.’
    • ‘The death is not a dying but a complete breakaway from our limited mind into the truth of who and what we really are and always have been.’
    • ‘By providing them with the shorts it was intended to symbolize the spiritual and mental breakaway from traditional dress and thought.’
    separatist, heterodox, dissident, dissentient, dissenting, heretical
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A secession of a number of people from an organization, typically following conflict or disagreement and resulting in the establishment of a new organization.
      as modifier ‘the breakaway republic’
      • ‘A breakaway train drivers union in the Republic of Ireland resumed unofficial strike action after the state rail company refused to negotiate with them.’
      • ‘Not only is the BAJ a competing union, it is also a breakaway from the NUJ, having been formed in the early 1990s.’
      • ‘The public bar bores have finally declared a socialist breakaway republic from the tyranny of the lounge lizards.’
      • ‘Erin's Own was a breakaway from the existing hurling club in the town, which then disbanded.’
      • ‘The teenage years began to take on a self-defining identity like a breakaway state within society, a colony declaring its independence from the past, a banana republic that would work out its own constitution.’
      • ‘Of course, there were objections to the amateur rule, and this caused a rift early in the sport's history, and a new breakaway sport was created in 1895, called Rugby League.’
      • ‘The investigation follows threats from the breakaway republican group against suspected drug dealers made in a number of phone calls to national newspapers.’
      • ‘This led to an increased number of participation of players from the Soviet breakaway republics in Europe and chess was never the same.’
      • ‘Well, it took ten years for me to realize this: you can call it a reform movement but public journalism was equally a breakaway church.’
      • ‘The transient parties are usually formed from a breakaway from the two main parties and are a response to the policies that they might be supporting at a national level.’
      • ‘The two breakaway parties made their separate ways northward.’
      • ‘Was he a breakaway from a club barbeque that wasn't going to plan?’
      • ‘It urged the EU to recognize the breakaway republics.’
      • ‘It met with a fierce response from software libre developers, with talk of creating a breakaway organization that could set royalty-free standards.’
      • ‘It features caricatures of the men who launched the breakaway league in 1998.’
      • ‘He said that players could well band together and try to buy back the world at the company's bankruptcy hearing - and then run it themselves as a breakaway republic.’
      • ‘The statement was issued in response to a Channel Four documentary, which claimed a minister had contacted the breakaway republican group.’
      • ‘A new league could have - as there was before the breakaway from the Scottish Football League - an even split of broadcasting revenue.’
      • ‘But in the mud and snow of the breakaway republic's southern mountains the fighting is as bitter as ever.’
      • ‘The breakaway paramilitary organisation has been in decline for several months because of a shortage of expertise and resources.’
      separatist, secessionist, splinter
      View synonyms
  • 2A sudden attack or forward movement, especially in a bicycle race or in hockey or football.

    ‘a winning breakaway’
    • ‘They continued to control matters and doubled their advantage in the 67th minute, ironically on a breakaway from a promising attack led by Mark Betts.’
    • ‘Prat was well up in the ensuing forward breakaway, and it was he who scored his side's second try.’
    • ‘This guy is also one of the best players on breakaways in the entire league.’
    • ‘On the second lap of the 11-mile circuit Watson was among a group of seven riders who engineered an early breakaway from the main field, and were never to be seen again by the main field.’
    • ‘Despite some very hard attacks in the final laps of the races, and small breakaways coming from those attacks, the peloton still came into the last kilometer complete.’
  • 3An object, such as a stage prop, designed to break apart easily.

    as modifier ‘barroom brawls are staged with breakaway furniture’
    • ‘We stock a selection of breakaway chairs, stools, and tables at the best prices in town, with speed and accuracy.’
    • ‘I want some of that breakaway plastic stuff to make glass panels out of.’
    • ‘Yes, occasionally, you have to get involved in a scripted melee and get hit on the head by a breakaway chair, but mostly you just get to wear interesting clothes, and have a funny name and a good story line.’
    • ‘Design choices like elevating the house and installing breakaway understory walls saved this Pascagoula, Mississippi home from damage in a flood.’