Definition of break off in English:

break off

phrasal verb

  • 1Become severed.

    ‘the fuselage had broken off just behind the pilot's seat’
    • ‘It began life as a separate ice tongue roughly the size of Belgium before breaking off and floating into the Southern Ocean.’
    • ‘Every time I grabbed anything on the side of the rock to try to stop my descent, it broke off and came with me.’
    • ‘Two of the chairs legs broke off in a loud snap from the force of the blow.’
    • ‘She reaches for a strand of hair and twists it tightly around her finger pulling so tight that I can see the tiny hairs snapping and breaking off.’
    • ‘Had to mow the law, though - usually a simple joy, but a pain since the lawn mower handle broke off.’
    • ‘They suspect that part of the lava dome broke off, sending melted ice from a glacier onto hot rocks below.’
    • ‘When pieces of the ice broke off, they pushed over the pieces next to them, like books falling on a shelf.’
    • ‘They have been left out of pocket after a vital part broke off their electric fire.’
    • ‘The rubber blade eventually broke off and we were stuck in the rain with only one good blade.’
    • ‘He developed a massive blood clot that formed in his leg veins, broke off and travelled to his lungs.’
    snap off, come off, become detached, become separated, become severed
    View synonyms
  • 2Abruptly stop talking.

    ‘she broke off, stifling a sob’
    • ‘Faith and Grace who had been telling him something, abruptly broke off, when Father got up and rushed over to me.’
    • ‘But he broke off when he remembered that he was talking to the enemy, not an ally.’
    • ‘As he was saying this, his son John appeared and he broke off.’