When workers go on strike, anyone who passes their picket lines to go to work is known as a strikebreaker. Most strikebreakers are hired after the strike begins.

Strikes usually start when employees believe their official complaints haven't been adequately addressed by their employer. When a whole group of workers refuses to work, they hold a kind of collective power. Strikebreakers are those people who agree to do the work despite the strike — and for that reason, they're not popular with striking workers, who also refer to them as "scabs." In many countries (though not the U.S.), it's illegal to hire strikebreakers during the bargaining process.

Definitions of strikebreaker
  1. noun
    someone who works (or provides workers) during a strike
    synonyms: blackleg, rat, scab
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a person who works at a specific occupation
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week