Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Break-up noun Disruption; a separation and dispersion of the parts or members; as, a break-up of an assembly or dinner party; a break-up of the government.

Breakneck noun
1. A fall that breaks the neck.

2. A steep place endangering the neck.

Breakneck adjective Producing danger of a broken neck; as, breakneck speed.

Breakwater noun Any structure or contrivance, as a mole, or a wall at the mouth of a harbor, to break the force of waves, and afford protection from their violence.

Bream noun [ Middle English breme , brem , French brême , Old French bresme , of German origin; confer Old High German brahsema , brahsina , OLG. bressemo , German brassen . Confer Brasse .]


1. (Zoöl) A European fresh-water cyprinoid fish of the genus Abramis , little valued as food. Several species are known.

2. (Zoöl) An American fresh-water fish, of various species of Pomotis and allied genera, which are also called sunfishes and pondfishes. See Pondfish .

3. (Zoöl) A marine sparoid fish of the genus Pagellus , and allied genera. See Sea Bream .

Bream transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Breamed ; present participle & verbal noun Breaming .] [ Confer Broom , and G. ein schiff brennen .] (Nautical) To clean, as a ship's bottom of adherent shells, seaweed, etc., by the application of fire and scraping.

Breast (brĕst) noun [ Middle English brest , breost , As. breóst ; akin to Icelandic brjōst , Swedish bröst , Danish bryst , Goth. brusts , Old Saxon briost , Dutch borst , German brust .]
1. The fore part of the body, between the neck and the belly; the chest; as, the breast of a man or of a horse.

2. Either one of the protuberant glands, situated on the front of the chest or thorax in the female of man and of some other mammalia, in which milk is secreted for the nourishment of the young; a mamma; a teat.

My brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother.
Cant. viii. 1.

3. Anything resembling the human breast, or bosom; the front or forward part of anything; as, a chimney breast ; a plow breast ; the breast of a hill.

Mountains on whose barren breast
The laboring clouds do often rest.
Milton.

4. (Mining) (a) The face of a coal working. (b) The front of a furnace.

5. The seat of consciousness; the repository of thought and self-consciousness, or of secrets; the seat of the affections and passions; the heart.

He has a loyal breast .
Shak.

6. The power of singing; a musical voice; -- so called, probably, from the connection of the voice with the lungs, which lie within the breast. [ Obsolete]

By my troth, the fool has an excellent breast .
Shak.

Breast drill , a portable drilling machine, provided with a breastplate, for forcing the drill against the work. - - Breast pang . See Angina pectoris , under Angina . -- To make a clean breast , to disclose the secrets which weigh upon one; to make full confession.

Breast transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Breasted ; present participle & verbal noun Breasting .] To meet, with the breast; to struggle with or oppose manfully; as, to breast the storm or waves.

The court breasted the popular current by sustaining the demurrer.
Wirt.

To breast up a hedge , to cut the face of it on one side so as to lay bare the principal upright stems of the plants.

Breast-deep (brĕst"dēp`) adjective Deep as from the breast to the feet; as high as the breast.

Set him breast-deep in earth, and famish him.
Shak.

Breast-high adjective High as the breast.

Breastband (-bănd`) noun A band for the breast. Specifically: (Nautical) A band of canvas, or a rope, fastened at both ends to the rigging, to support the man who heaves the lead in sounding.

Breastbeam (brĕst"bēm`) noun (Machinery) The front transverse beam of a locomotive.

Breastbone (brĕst"bōn`) noun The bone of the breast; the sternum.

Breasted adjective Having a breast; -- used in composition with qualifying words, in either a literal or a metaphorical sense; as, a single- breasted coat.

The close minister is buttoned up, and the brave officer open- breasted , on these occasions.
Spectator.

Breastfast noun (Nautical) A large rope to fasten the midship part of a ship to a wharf, or to another vessel.

Breastheight noun The interior slope of a fortification, against which the garrison lean in firing.

Breasthook noun (Nautical) A thick piece of timber in the form of a knee, placed across the stem of a ship to strengthen the fore part and unite the bows on each side. Totten.

Breasting noun (Machinery) The curved channel in which a breast wheel turns. It is closely adapted to the curve of the wheel through about a quarter of its circumference, and prevents the escape of the water until it has spent its force upon the wheel. See Breast wheel .

Breastknot (brĕst"nŏt) noun A knot of ribbons worn on the breast. Addison.

Breastpin (brĕst"pĭn`) noun A pin worn on the breast for a fastening, or for ornament; a brooch.

Breastplate noun
1. A plate of metal covering the breast as defensive armor.

Before his old rusty breastplate could be scoured, and his cracked headpiece mended.
Swift.

2. A piece against which the workman presses his breast in operating a breast drill, or other similar tool.

3. A strap that runs across a horse's breast. Ash.

4. (Jewish Antiq.) A part of the vestment of the high priest, worn upon the front of the ephod. It was a double piece of richly embroidered stuff, a span square, set with twelve precious stones, on which were engraved the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. See Ephod .

Breastplow, Breastplough noun A kind of plow, driven by the breast of the workman; -- used to cut or pare turf.

Breastrail (-rāl`) noun The upper rail of any parapet of ordinary height, as of a balcony; the railing of a quarter-deck, etc.

Breastrope (brĕst"rōp`) noun See Breastband .

Breastsummer noun (Architecture) A summer or girder extending across a building flush with, and supporting, the upper part of a front or external wall; a long lintel; a girder; -- used principally above shop windows. [ Written also brestsummer and bressummer .]

Breastwheel (brĕst" hwēl`) noun A water wheel, on which the stream of water strikes neither so high as in the overshot wheel, nor so low as in the undershot, but generally at about half the height of the wheel, being kept in contact with it by the breasting. The water acts on the float boards partly by impulse, partly by its weight.

Breastwork (brĕst"wûrk`) noun
1. (Fort.) A defensive work of moderate height, hastily thrown up, of earth or other material.

2. (Nautical) A railing on the quarter-deck and forecastle.

Breath (brĕth) noun [ Middle English breth , breeth , Anglo-Saxon brǣð odor, scent, breath; confer Old High German brādam steam, vapor, breath, German brodem , and possibly English Brawn , and Breed .]
1. The air inhaled and exhaled in respiration; air which, in the process of respiration, has parted with oxygen and has received carbonic acid, aqueous vapor, warmth, etc.

Melted as breath into the wind.
Shak.

2. The act of breathing naturally or freely; the power or capacity to breathe freely; as, I am out of breath .

3. The power of respiration, and hence, life. Hood.

Thou takest away their breath , they die.
Ps. civ. 29.

4. Time to breathe; respite; pause.

Give me some breath , some little pause.
Shak.

5. A single respiration, or the time of making it; a single act; an instant.

He smiles and he frowns in a breath .
Dryden.

6. Fig.: That which gives or strengthens life.

The earthquake voice of victory,
To thee the breath of life .
Byron.

7. A single word; the slightest effort; a trifle.

A breath can make them, as a breath has made.
Goldsmith.

8. A very slight breeze; air in gentle motion.

Calm and unruffled as a summer's sea,
when not a breath of wind flies o'er its surface.
Addison.

9. Fragrance; exhalation; odor; perfume. Tennison.

The breath of flowers.
Bacon.

10. Gentle exercise, causing a quicker respiration.

An after dinner's breath .
Shak.

Out of breath , breathless, exhausted; breathing with difficulty. -- Under one's breath , in low tones.

Breathable (brē&thlig;"ȧ*b'l) adjective Such as can be breathed.

Breathableness noun State of being breathable.

Breathe (brē&thlig;) intransitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Breathed ; present participle & verbal noun Breathing .] [ From Breath .]


1. To respire; to inhale and exhale air; hence;, to live. "I am in health, I breathe ." Shak.

Breathes there a man with soul so dead?
Sir W. Scott.

2. To take breath; to rest from action.

Well! breathe awhile, and then to it again!
Shak.

3. To pass like breath; noiselessly or gently; to exhale; to emanate; to blow gently.

The air breathes upon us here most sweetly.
Shak.

There breathes a living fragrance from the shore.
Byron.

Breathe transitive verb
1. To inhale and exhale in the process of respiration; to respire.

To view the light of heaven, and breathe the vital air.
Dryden.

2. To inject by breathing; to infuse; -- with into .

Able to breathe life into a stone.
Shak.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.
Gen. ii. 7.

3. To emit or utter by the breath; to utter softly; to whisper; as, to breathe a vow.

He softly breathed thy name.
Dryden.

Or let the church, our mother, breathe her curse,
A mother's curse, on her revolting son.
Shak.

4. To exhale; to emit, as breath; as, the flowers breathe odors or perfumes.

5. To express; to manifest; to give forth.

Others articles breathe the same severe spirit.
Milner.

6. To act upon by the breath; to cause to sound by breathing. "They breathe the flute." Prior.

7. To promote free respiration in; to exercise.

And every man should beat thee. I think thou wast created for men to breathe themselves upon thee.
Shak.

8. To suffer to take breath, or recover the natural breathing; to rest; as, to breathe a horse.

A moment breathed his panting steed.
Sir W. Scott.

9. To put out of breath; to exhaust.

Mr. Tulkinghorn arrives in his turret room, a little breathed by the journey up.
Dickens.

10. (Phonetics) To utter without vocality, as the nonvocal consonants.

The same sound may be pronounces either breathed , voiced, or whispered.
H. Sweet.

Breathed elements, being already voiceless, remain unchanged [ in whispering].
H. Sweet.

To breathe again , to take breath; to feel a sense of relief, as from danger, responsibility, or press of business. -- To breathe one's last , to die; to expire. -- To breathe a vein , to open a vein; to let blood. Dryden.

Breather noun
1. One who breathes. Hence: (a) One who lives. (b) One who utters. (c) One who animates or inspires.

2. That which puts one out of breath, as violent exercise. [ Colloq.]

Breathful adjective Full of breath; full of odor; fragrant. [ Obsolete]

Breathing noun
1. Respiration; the act of inhaling and exhaling air.

Subject to a difficulty of breathing .
Melmoth.

2. Air in gentle motion.

3. Any gentle influence or operation; inspiration; as, the breathings of the Spirit.

4. Aspiration; secret prayer. "Earnest desires and breathings after that blessed state." Tillotson.

5. Exercising; promotion of respiration.

Here is a lady that wants breathing too;
And I have heard, you knights of Tyre
Are excellent in making ladies trip.
Shak.

6. Utterance; communication or publicity by words.

I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose.
Shak.

7. Breathing place; vent. Dryden.

8. Stop; pause; delay.

You shake the head at so long a breathing .
Shak.

9. Also, in a wider sense, the sound caused by the friction of the outgoing breath in the throat, mouth, etc., when the glottis is wide open; aspiration; the sound expressed by the letter h .

10. (Gr. Gram.) A mark to indicate aspiration or its absence. See Rough breathing , Smooth breathing , below.

Breathing place . (a) A pause. "That cæsura, or breathing place , in the midst of the verse." Sir P. Sidney. (b) A vent. -- Breathing time , pause; relaxation. Bp. Hall. -- Breathing while , time sufficient for drawing breath; a short time. Shak. -- Rough breathing ( spiritus asper ) (&spasp;). See 2d Asper , noun -- Smooth breathing ( spiritus lenis ), a mark (') indicating the absence of the sound of h , as in 'ie`nai ( ienai ).

Breathless (brĕth"lĕs) adjective
1. Spent with labor or violent action; out of breath.

2. Not breathing; holding the breath, on account of fear, expectation, or intense interest; attended with a holding of the breath; as, breathless attention.

But breathless , as we grow when feeling most.
Byron.

3. Dead; as, a breathless body.

Breathlessly adverb In a breathless manner.

Breathlessness noun The state of being breathless or out of breath.

Breccia noun [ Italian , breach, pebble, fragments of stone, from French brèche ; of German origin. See Breach .] (Geol.) A rock composed of angular fragments either of the same mineral or of different minerals, etc., united by a cement, and commonly presenting a variety of colors.

Bone breccia , a breccia containing bones, usually fragmentary. -- Coin breccia , a breccia containing coins.

Brecciated adjective Consisting of angular fragments cemented together; resembling breccia in appearance.

The brecciated appearance of many specimens [ of meteorites].
H. A. Newton.

Bred imperfect & past participle of Breed .

Bred out , degenerated. "The strain of man's bred out into baboon and monkey." Shak. -- Bred to arms . See under Arms . -- Well bred . (a) Of a good family; having a good pedigree. "A gentleman well bred and of good name." Shak. [ Obsolete, except as applied to domestic animals.] (b) Well brought up, as shown in having good manners; cultivated; refined; polite.

Brede noun [ See Braid woven cord.] A braid. [ R.]

Half lapped in glowing gauze and golden brede .
Tennyson.

Brede, Breede noun Breadth. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Breech noun [ See Breeches .]
1. The lower part of the body behind; the buttocks.

2. Breeches. [ Obsolete] Shak.

3. The hinder part of anything; esp., the part of a cannon, or other firearm, behind the chamber.

4. (Nautical) The external angle of knee timber, the inside of which is called the throat .

Breech transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Breeched ; present participle & verbal noun Breeching ]
1. To put into, or clothe with, breeches.

A great man . . . anxious to know whether the blacksmith's youngest boy was breeched .
Macaulay.

2. To cover as with breeches. [ Poetic]

Their daggers unmannerly breeched with gore.
Shak.

3. To fit or furnish with a breech; as, to breech a gun.

4. To whip on the breech. [ Obsolete]

Had not a courteous serving man conveyed me away, whilst he went to fetch whips, I think, in my conscience, he would have breeched me.
Old Play.

5. To fasten with breeching.

Breech action The breech mechanism in breech-loading small arms and certain special guns, as automatic and machine guns; -- used frequently in referring to the method by which the movable barrels of breech-loading shotguns are locked, unlocked, or rotated to loading position.

Breech pin, Breech screw A strong iron or steel plug screwed into the breech of a musket or other firearm, to close the bottom of the bore.

Breech sight A device attached to the breech of a firearm, to guide the eye, in conjunction with the front sight, in taking aim.

Breechblock noun The movable piece which closes the breech of a breech-loading firearm, and resists the backward force of the discharge. It is withdrawn for the insertion of a cartridge, and closed again before the gun is fired.

Breechcloth noun A cloth worn around the breech.