Definition of breach
Middle English breche from Old English bryce ("a breaking, breach, fracture") from brecan "to break".
breach (plural breaches)
- The act of breaking, in a figurative sense.
* 1748. David Hume. Enquiry concerning Human Understanding. Section 3. § 12.
But were the poet to make a total difression from his subject, and introduce a new actor, nowise connected with the personages, the imagination, feeling a breach in transition, would enter coldly into the new scene;
- (law) A breaking or infraction of a law, or of any obligation or tie; violation; non-fulfillment; as, a each of contract]]; a breach of promise.
- A gap or opening made by breaking or battering, as in a wall or fortification; the space between the parts of a solid body rent by violence; a break; a rupture.
* 1599: "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our English dead." - Henry V: Ac.3 Sc1, Wm. Shakespeare.
- A breaking up of amicable relations; rupture.
- A breaking of waters, as over a vessel or a coastal defence; the waters themselves; surge; surf.
* 1719: Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
I cast my eye to the stranded vessel, when, the breach and froth of the sea being so big, I could hardly see it, it lay so far of; and considered, Lord! how was it possible I could get on shore.
- A breaking out upon; an assault.
- (archaic) A bruise; a wound.
- (archaic) A hernia; a rupture.
to breach (third-person singular simple present breaches, present participle breaching, simple past and past participle breached)
- (intransitive) To break (in the above senses)
- (intransitive) (nautical, of the sea), to break into a ship or into a coastal defence
- (intransitive) (of a whale) to leap clear out of the water
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