break

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break 1. /vt./ To cause to be broken (in any sense). "Your latest patch to the editor broke the paragraph commands." 2. /v./ (of a program) To stop temporarily, so that it may debugged. The place where it stops is a `breakpoint'. 3. [techspeak] /vi./ To send an RS-232 break (two character widths of line high) over a serial comm line. 4. [Unix] /vi./ To strike whatever key currently causes the tty driver to send SIGINT to the current process. Normally, break (sense 3), delete or control-C does this. 5. `break break' may be said to interrupt a conversation (this is an example of verb doubling). This usage comes from radio communications, which in turn probably came from landline telegraph/teleprinter usage, as badly abused in the Citizen's Band craze a few years ago.


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