breakthrough

An amazing discovery or a huge amount of progress can be called a breakthrough. The discovery of penicillin in 1928 was a breakthrough for modern medicine.

A personal breakthrough might be overcoming your fear of spiders once and for all. A bigger breakthrough, one that affects many people, is the invention of indoor plumbing. There's a sense of suddenness and drama associated with most breakthroughs. The word started out with a military meaning of literally "breaking through a barrier" in 1918. By the 1930s, it came to have the second meaning of "abrupt solution."

Definitions of breakthrough
  1. noun
    making an important discovery
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    type of:
    discovery, find, uncovering
    the act of discovering something
  2. noun
    a productive insight
    synonyms: discovery, find
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    type of:
    brainstorm, brainwave, insight
    the clear (and often sudden) understanding of a complex situation
  3. noun
    a penetration of a barrier such as an enemy's defense
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    type of:
    incursion, penetration
    an attack that penetrates into enemy territory
Word Family
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