Origin: oe. Breke, breche, as. Brice, gebrice, gebrece (in comp), fr. Brecan to break; akin to dan. Braek, MHG. Breche, gap, breach. See break, and cf. Brake (the instrument), Brack a break .
1. The act of breaking, in a figurative sense.
2. Specifically: a breaking or infraction of a law, or of any obligation or tie; violation; non-fulfillment; as, a breach of contract; a breach of promise.
3. A gap or opening made 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. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; or close the wall up with our english dead. (Shak)
4. A breaking of waters, as over a vessel; the waters themselves; surge; surf. The lord hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me, as the breach of waters. (2 sam. V. 20) a clear breach implies that the waves roll over the vessel without breaking. A clean breach implies that everything on deck is swept away.
5. A breaking up of amicable relations; rupture. There’s fallen between him and my lord An unkind breach. (Shak)
6. A bruise; a wound. Breach for breach, eye for eye. (Lev. Xxiv. 20)
7. (Science: medicine) a hernia; a rupture.
8. A breaking out upon; an assault. The lord had made a breach upon Uzza. (1. Chron. Xiii. 11) breach of falth, a breaking, or a failure to keep, an expressed or implied promise; a betrayal of confidence or trust. Breach of peace, disorderly conduct, disturbing the public peace. Breach of privilege, an act or default in violation of the privilege or either house of Parliament, of Congress, or of a state legislature, as, for instance, by false swearing before a committee. – breach of promise, violation of one’s plighted word, especially. Of a promise to marry. Breach of trust, violation of one’s duty or faith in a matter entrusted to one.
Synonym: Rent, cleft, chasm, rift, aperture, gap, break, disruption, fracture, rupture, infraction, infringement, violation, quarrel, dispute, contention, difference, misunderstanding.