Breach (?), n. [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] .


The act of breaking, in a figurative sense.


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.


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.


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.

Ham. Nav. Encyc.


A breaking up of amicable relations; rupture.

There's fallen between him and my lord An unkind breach. Shak.


A bruise; a wound.

Breach for breach, eye for eye. Lev. xxiv. 20

7. Med.

A hernia; a rupture.


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.

Mozley. Abbott.

- Breach of promise, violation of one's plighted word, esp. of a promise to marry. -- Breach of trust, violation of one's duty or faith in a matter entrusted to one.

Syn. -- Rent; cleft; chasm; rift; aperture; gap; break; disruption; fracture; rupture; infraction; infringement; violation; quarrel; dispute; contention; difference; misunderstanding.


© Webster 1913.

Breach, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Breached () ; p. pr. & vb. n. Breaching.]

To make a breach or opening in; as, to breach the walls of a city.


© Webster 1913.

Breach, v. i.

To break the water, as by leaping out; -- said of a whale.


© Webster 1913.

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