Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

break up

break up
Meaning(s)
1) cease, put an end to
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • break up a fight/protest/marriage
  • Analysis
    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?' 
  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. My wife told me that if I keep working so hard, we will break up.
    2. When the bell rang, the referee had to break up the fight.
    3. The police were called in to break up the protest on the streets.
    4. I've had this cold for two weeks, but thankfully it's starting to break up.
  • Professional Examples (Basic)
    1. need a new work phone, I can't hear anyone on this one, they keep breaking up.
    2. We had a very intense meeting that didn't break up until after 9 pm.
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