Definition of rupture in US English:



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  • 1(especially of a pipe, a vessel, or a bodily part such as an organ or membrane) break or burst suddenly.

    ‘if the main artery ruptures he could die’
    • ‘The streets were flooded after water pipes ruptured.’
    • ‘His college campus was evacuated after a gas pipe ruptured and sent lethal fumes through the building.’
    • ‘As the side of the wakeboarder's face hits the water, a column of air is forced into the external auditory ear canal and the tympanic membrane ruptures.’
    • ‘Very rarely, an enlarged spleen can rupture, which may require urgent surgery.’
    • ‘The accident occurred after a pipe ruptured, releasing flammable gasses that led to a series of explosions.’
    • ‘The investigation concluded that there were two major explosions, the first when the pipeline ruptured and exploded and the second when the gas was ignited after a delay of 24 seconds.’
    • ‘In portal hypertensive gastropathy, the mucosa is friable and bleeding occurs when the ectatic vessels rupture and manifest as mucosal oozing.’
    • ‘Then at 31 weeks into her seventh pregnancy (already complicated by placenta praevia) her membranes ruptured and premature labour ensued.’
    • ‘Amniotomy was performed if membranes did not rupture within 24 hours.’
    • ‘Their cell membranes rupture and the released hemoglobin is phagocytized by reticuloendothelial cells throughout the body.’
    • ‘If this happens the tube may rupture, causing further symptoms.’
    • ‘Your child's doctor may also recommend using pain-relieving ear drops, as long as the eardrum hasn't ruptured.’
    • ‘Eventually the membranes rupture, and the plant cells die.’
    • ‘The six-inch diameter pipe ruptured, releasing a huge cloud containing around 90 per cent ethane, propane and butane gases.’
    • ‘The mitochondria gradually swells, and eventually the outer membrane ruptures, releasing caspase-activating proteins into the cytosol. [10,32]’
    • ‘Swabbing a specimen should only be performed if the tympanic membrane has ruptured.’
    • ‘This is known as an ectopic pregnancy, which most commonly occurs in the Fallopian tube and can sometimes, if the pregnancy grows, result in the tube rupturing and causing internal bleeding.’
    • ‘Her lungs had been crushed, her left clavicle and ribs were fractured, vital organs had ruptured.’
    • ‘At very high concentrations of poly-L-lysine and a large number of attached cells, the membranes rupture due to the adhesion-induced tension.’
    • ‘These acne cysts can rupture, spreading the infection into nearby skin tissue.’
    break, fracture, crack
    break, fracture, crack, breach
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    1. 1.1with object Cause to break or burst suddenly and completely.
      ‘the impact ruptured both fuel tanks’
      • ‘Another jagged block had hooked an engine, tearing it from the wing, rupturing the wing's fuel tank and spinning the entire plane around.’
      • ‘Shortly afterwards they were forced to abandon their vehicle when the fuel line was apparently ruptured.’
      • ‘Ford engineers discovered in preproduction crash tests that rear-end collisions would rupture the Pinto's fuel system extremely easily.’
      • ‘The impact ruptured a hole in the tank, sparking a fire and leak.’
      • ‘And, as if the moment couldn't turn any more unfortunate, one of these shadow spikes struck the car's fuel tank, rupturing it and causing the yellow cab to explode into shrapnel and into flames.’
      • ‘In the Oct 26 crash, a dozen cars derailed, rupturing a fuel tank and spilling 4,300 gallons of diesel onto the bank and into Cow Creek about 17 miles west of Riddle.’
      • ‘Too much pressure can rupture the catheter or force a clot into the blood stream.’
      • ‘As she swerved to avoid them, the car hit other rocks thrown into the road which ruptured the car's oil tank.’
      • ‘Huge oil tanks were ruptured by the force of the waves and they spewed their contents into the streets and into a fresh water lake used by Barrow for water ’.’
      • ‘A burst tire is believed to have ruptured a fuel tank, causing the fiery crash.’
      • ‘This problem led the British to introduce the tank in 1916 as a means of rupturing the enemy's defense for exploitation by reserve forces.’
      • ‘The impact crushed the rear of the sports car, rupturing its fuel tank and igniting the fuel that was spilling from it.’
      • ‘In January of 1999 a truck was going uphill, slid into the ditch, rolled over on its side, and ruptured a fuel tank.’
      • ‘He had obviously broken an oil canister or possibly ruptured a fuel line.’
      • ‘The plasma bolt sailed through the air and connected with one of the power cylinders, rupturing the tanks and sending power in every direction.’
      • ‘On Saturday the vessel ran aground on ‘uncharted rocks’, rupturing her forward fuel tank and forcing the 153 passengers aboard to abandon ship.’
      • ‘The spill occurred after a dozen cars derailed Tuesday afternoon, rupturing a fuel tank and spilling 4,300 gallons of diesel onto the bank and into Cow Creek.’
    2. 1.2with object Suffer a bursting of (a bodily part)
      ‘it was her first match since rupturing an Achilles tendon’
      • ‘That she landed on her head near the finish and the force from her crash caused her neck to break, which in turn ruptured her spinal cord.’
      • ‘I did not make a living will but discussed the matter with my wife, and we agreed that if I ruptured my aneurysm I should be left to die from it.’
      • ‘His undiagnosed, asymptomatic high blood pressure ruptured a blood vessel in his brain.’
      • ‘The 30-year-old was out of action until March after rupturing his cruciate ligament, but had a huge impact on his return.’
      • ‘The gelatin coated pellets shot from air guns during war games travel at 300 feet per second and can easily rupture the eye when fired from distances of 12 feet or less.’
      • ‘I had just broken into the Springbok team when I ruptured my posterior cruciate ligament playing against Western Province one Sunday in August 2000.’
      • ‘It ruptures the cells, so the cell explodes at the end of the viral replication cycle.’
      • ‘This ruptures the fat cell walls and liquefies the fat for easier removal.’
      • ‘Quick stops and sharp cuts or turns create significant deceleration forces that can sprain or rupture the anterior cruciate ligament.’
      • ‘The tractional force created by the shrinking vitreous also may rupture blood vessels.’
      • ‘Amastigotes replicate by binary fission, eventually rupturing the macrophage and spreading to uninfected cells.’
      • ‘Such forces are in fact capable of physically rupturing the entire alveolar wall after initial damage and repair.’
      • ‘Alternatively, the extreme inward displacement of the tympanic membrane may result in inward displacement of the stapes footplate, rupturing the stapes annular ligament.’
      • ‘If undiagnosed, an ectopic pregnancy can rupture your fallopian tube, making you less fertile.’
      • ‘The soldier did not even have any time to scream as the spear crushed into his chest and ruptured his heart on impact.’
      • ‘A pimple forms when bacteria, sebum, and old cells rupture your follicle wall and invade your skin.’
      • ‘During the period between the first and the second follow-ups, one patient had ruptured his contralateral ACL.’
      • ‘When the ACL is completely ruptured, it is common to hear a distinct popping sound.’
      • ‘They seem to writhe in place as bulbous nodules and spiky protuberances rupture their skin.’
      • ‘The injury has occurred weeks earlier, and its force has been sufficient to rupture the weakest bridging vein but insufficient to produce an acute encephalopathy.’
    3. 1.3be ruptured" or "rupture oneself Suffer an abdominal hernia.
      ‘one of the boys was ruptured and needed to be fitted with a truss’
      • ‘They almost ruptured themselves straining to lift it.’
  • 2with object Breach or disturb (a harmonious feeling or situation)

    ‘once trust has been ruptured it can be difficult to regain’
    • ‘Labor's record in power has forever ruptured the close allegiance that millions of workers once had with the party.’
    • ‘The role of Italy in Panofsky's account of Durer's work both ruptures the alleged continuity of the German national spirit and symbolizes the enlightened tradition of humanist rationality.’
    • ‘You hurt him emotionally, and you ruptured the trust between you.’
    • ‘An estimated 2,000 fans cheered the Shrimps onto the Division One club's pitch - but it took just two minutes for reality to rupture the excitement.’
    • ‘If London truly was a city on the brink, then his killing might have ruptured the trust that holds things together.’
    sever, break, cut off, break off, breach, disrupt
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  • 1An instance of breaking or bursting suddenly and completely.

    ‘a small hairline crack could develop into a rupture’
    ‘the patient died after rupture of an aneurysm’
    • ‘Marfan's syndrome is a connective tissue disorder that increases the probability of a rupture or dissection occurring at smaller diameters than in a normal patient.’
    • ‘He suffered a double leg break, cruciate ligament damage and a total rupture of the ankle.’
    • ‘It was more than a break from what came before; it was a seismic rupture.’
    • ‘They suggest there is a real risk of a sudden rupture, e.g. a structural change in ocean currents or the melting of the Western Antarctic ice sheet.’
    • ‘A powerful burst of rupture energy is seen 80 seconds later as the quake progresses northwest.’
    • ‘Second, the successive rupture of these multiple contacts during protein detachment slows the unbinding velocity.’
    • ‘Last May, he died suddenly from an aortic rupture at the age of 44, leaving a wife and young children.’
    • ‘Once an eruption is initiated, the seal ruptures, suddenly releasing massive amounts of gas, which have been accumulating within the plumbing system of the volcano.’
    • ‘Note that the data did not allow the researchers to conclude that the ruptures necessarily caused the deaths, merely that they were associated with rupture.’
    • ‘There have been five pipeline ruptures in the last 10 years in Manitoba.’
    • ‘This could have been due to a sudden rupture of the membrane that covers the hole that was made during the operation.’
    • ‘One exception to these observations is the Kaiapo Fault, a normal structure that predates the 26.5 ka eruption and has experienced two historic seismogenic ruptures.’
    • ‘Similarly, the seismic vibrations produced when the ground suddenly ruptures radiate out through the Earth's interior from the rupture point, called the earthquake focus.’
    • ‘While a tank might survive such an overpressurization, repeated overfilling will induce cylinder wall fatigue that could cause a catastrophic rupture.’
    • ‘However, eating fish was found to have no impact on the risk of suffering a hemorrhagic stroke, where a blood vessel in the brain breaks or ruptures and causes bleeding on the brain.’
    • ‘Sudden ruptures of the artery can lead to fatal blood loss or severe brain damage.’
    • ‘The rupture seems definitive - a long way from happening and happily.’
    • ‘She believed the rupture happened because of the prolonged dry spell which may have dried the clay out underground, causing it to move and fracture.’
    • ‘The ruptures break up the train and free any intact sperm for action.’
    • ‘Obviously some of these men might have died anyway from a sudden rupture, but a clear distinction needs to be made between dying naturally and at the instigation of doctors.’
    breaking, breakage, cracking, cleavage, shattering, fragmentation, splintering, splitting, separation, bursting, disintegration
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    1. 1.1 An abdominal hernia.
      • ‘Neither of them had had pain before the initial rupture of the second rupture.’
      • ‘They represent the rupture of subepidermal connective tissue as a result of abdominal distension, either recent or remote.’
      • ‘Most ruptures originate during strenuous physical activities, especially basketball, tennis, football, and softball.’
  • 2A breach of a harmonious relationship.

    ‘the rupture with his father would never be healed’
    • ‘The trauma of such ruptures in developmental trajectories was frequently expressed through descriptions of irreversible transformations of the identities of the victims.’
    • ‘His rupture with the Labour Party is clearly painful, his whole adult life having been devoted to it.’
    • ‘Still, the choreography leavens the process with sudden ruptures in the pristine order.’
    • ‘The Liberals recognize that in the event of a rupture between the US and Europe economics and geo-politics dictate that the Canadian bourgeoisie must stand with the US.’
    • ‘We don't have to wait for five years to understand his political and economic philosophy through a retrospective analysis of the ruptures and trajectories of political and economic patterns.’
    rift, estrangement, break-up, breach, split, severance, separation, parting, division, alienation
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Late Middle English (as a noun): from Old French rupture or Latin ruptura, from rumpere ‘to break’. The verb dates from the mid 18th century.