1. cease, put an end to
break up a fight/protest/marriage
The phrasal verb ‘break up' has a number of different meanings in both professional and social contexts. To ‘break something up' can mean to separate or divide an object into smaller parts. If you ‘break up’ an object, you disassemble it. You can also ‘break up' a group of people, meaning to divide them into smaller groups. To break up means to disintegrate or disperse or to end something. It can refer to an end in a program, course or school term. "We broke up for lunch at around 1.30." "The meeting broke up at around 7 pm." You can say 'the clouds broke up' or a crowd or group 'broke up' meaning that they dispersed and went in different directions. If a relationship 'breaks up' it comes to an end so, a marriage can 'break up' or a romantic relationship. If you are on the phone or a call over the internet and the signal is bad so that you can't hear the other person very well- you can say the line is 'breaking up'. You can also 'break up' laughing at something extremely funny. If a party or an event 'breaks up', it comes to an end, and the people in attendance begin to leave. You can ask someone, 'what time did the meeting break up at?', meaning 'what time did the meeting end?'