A breach is a violation of a law, duty, or promise. If you'd contracted to mow your neighbor's lawn and don't do it, he can sue you for breach of contract. Or he can mow the lawn himself.

Breach traces back to the Old English verb: brecan, "to break," which is what breach really means — "a breaking of something." Breach of contract is a legal way of saying you broke a promise. If your great aunt Edna is a stickler for propriety, she may be horrified when you eat your meat with the salad fork, considering it a breach of good manners.

Primary Meanings of breach

an opening (especially a gap in a dike or fortification)
make an opening or gap in
a failure to perform some promised act or obligation
act in disregard of laws, rules, contracts, or promises
Full Definitions of breach

n an opening (especially a gap in a dike or fortification)

Type of:
gap, opening
an open or empty space in or between things

n a personal or social separation (as between opposing factions)

break, falling out, rift, rupture, severance
the formal separation of a church into two churches or the withdrawal of one group over doctrinal differences
Type of:
breakup, detachment, separation
coming apart

v make an opening or gap in

Type of:
open, open up
cause to open or to become open

n a failure to perform some promised act or obligation

show 9 types...
hide 9 types...
breach of contract
a breach of a legal duty; failure to do something that is required in a contract
breach of duty
a breach of due care
anticipatory breach, constructive breach
a breach of contract committed prior to the time of required performance
breach of the covenant of warranty
a failure of the seller's guarantee of good title
breach of promise
failure to keep a promise (of marriage)
breach of trust
violation (either through fraud or negligence) by a trustee of a duty that equity requires of him
breach of warranty
a breach that occurs when an item is deficient according to the terms of a warranty
material breach
a breach serious enough to destroy the value of the contract and to give a basis for an action for breach of contract
partial breach
a breach that does not destroy the value of the contract but can give rise to a claim for damages
Type of:
an unexpected omission

v act in disregard of laws, rules, contracts, or promises

break, go against, infract, offend, transgress, violate
keep, observe
conform one's action or practice to
show 7 types...
hide 7 types...
sin, transgress, trespass
commit a sin; violate a law of God or a moral law
blunder, boob, drop the ball, goof, sin
commit a faux pas or a fault or make a serious mistake
conflict, contravene, infringe, run afoul
go against, as of rules and laws
break the law
intrude, trespass
enter unlawfully on someone's property
yield to temptation or sin
break, break in
enter someone's (virtual or real) property in an unauthorized manner, usually with the intent to steal or commit a violent act
Type of:
show a lack of respect for

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.