breach


breach
breach n
1 Breach, infraction, violation, transgression, trespass, infringement, contravention are comparable when denoting the act or the offense of one who fails to keep the law or to do what the law, one's duty, or an obligation requires.
Breach occurs rarely by itself except in phrases such as "a law more honored in the breach than in the observance." The word is usually followed by of and a noun or pronoun which indicates the thing which is broken or not kept
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his action constitutes a breach of faith

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he was found guilty of breach of the peace by reason of his noisy, disorderly, and annoying conduct

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sued for breach of contract

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Infraction is now more often used than breach (except in certain time-honored idioms) for a breaking of a law or obligation
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an infraction of the school rules

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an infraction of a treaty

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an infraction of canon law

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we have scrutinized the case, but cannot say that it shows an infraction of rights under the Constitution of the United States— Justice Holmes

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Violation adds to breach and infraction the implication of flagrant disregard of the law or of the rights of others and often suggests the exercise of force or violence; thus, the violation of a treaty suggests positive, often aggressive and injurious action, while its infraction may imply a mere failure strictly to adhere to its terms
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a violation of military discipline

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the police interference was a violation of the right to free assembly

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when more of the people's sustenance is exacted through the form of taxation than is necessary to meet the just obligations of Government . . . such exaction becomes ruthless extortion and a violation of the fundamental principles of a free Government— Cleveland

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Transgression is applied to any act that goes beyond the limits prescribed by a law, rule, or order; often the term is used specifically of an infraction of the moral law or of one of the commandments
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for sin is the transgression of the law—/ Jn 3:4

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"I was forgetting," she said. "I am forbidden tea." . . . She looked at the cup, tremendously tempted. ... An occasional transgression could not harm her— Bennett

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Trespass also implies an overstepping of prescribed bounds, but it carries in addition a strong implication of encroachment upon the rights, the comfort, or the property of others. In Scriptural and religious use a trespass is particularly an offense against God or one's neighbor
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if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespassesMt 6:15

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In law a trespass is an unlawful act, involving some degree of force or violence, committed against the person, the property, or the rights of another
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the passing through another's premises against his wish or without his invitation constitutes a trespass

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a burglar who is frightened away before he actually enters a house is liable to arrest for trespass

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Infringement is sometimes used as though it were identical in meaning with infraction
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an infringement of the law

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an infringement of a treaty

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More often it implies trespass rather than violation and therefore is the idiomatic term when trespass involving an encroachment upon a legally protected right or privilege is at issue; thus, the unauthorized manufacture of something which has been patented constitutes an infringement (rather than an infraction or violation) of a patent
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the unauthorized reproduction and sale of matter already copyrighted constitutes an infringement of the copyright

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an infringement on the liberty of the American people

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Contravention applies specifically to a going contrary to the intent of the law or to an act in defiance of what is regarded as right, lawful, or obligatory
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warrants in contravention of the acts of Parliament— Macaulay

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if there is in a work of art a contravention of nature— Lowes

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Antonyms: observance
2 Breach, break, split, schism, rent, rupture, rift are comparable when they mean a pulling apart in relations or in connections.
Breach, the most general in application of any of these terms, is capable of being referred to any such pulling apart without in itself, as apart from the context, throwing light on its cause, its magnitude, or its seriousness
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a breach in unity

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widen the breach between old friends

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having followed the high banks of the Tom to the furthest extremity . . . they happily found a breach in the inclosure— Kingston

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it may be one man's privilege and duty to heal the breach between the Arab and the Jew— Douglas

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Break (see also BREAK n) is often substituted for breach when one wishes to emphasize the strain that is inducing or has induced a disruption (as between persons or groups)
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efforts to avoid an open break with the conser-vative faction

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the break was final, and there was no course open for the nation except war

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Split usually implies a complete breach, suggesting a division such as would be made by an ax or knife; often, also, it hints at the impossibility of bringing together again the two parts (as parties or factions) that once formed a whole. Split often implies a division of friends or friendly groups into opposing parties or factions
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a major split between the United States and most of the rest of the free world— Bundy

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I fear the split betwixt Constable and Cadell will render impossible what might otherwise be hopeful enough— Scott

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Schism implies a clear-cut separation between divisions of an original group and consequent discord and dissension between the two parts; typically the term is used of such a division in a religious communion, but it may be applied to any union of rational beings (as a political party or a philosophical school)
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he succeeded in dividing the American Quakers into two bodies; and this schism . . . lasted on till the present year— Inge

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a school of literalists arose with all the mad consequence of schism and heresy— Blackmur

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Rent suggests an opening made by tearing or rending and may impute characteristics (as irregularity, jaggedness, and narrowness) to a break to which it is applied
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thy stately mansion, and the pride of thy domain, strange contrast do present to house and home in many a craggy rent of the wild Peak— Wordsworth

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through the wide rent in Time's eternal veil, hope was seen beaming— Shelley

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a rent in the social fabric— Millstein

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Rupture approaches breach in meaning, but it carries a more clearly defined stress upon a break in relations between people or groups; in addition, it frequently is affected by its special medical use and then often suggests an actual but not always clearly apparent break
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mother and son avoided an open rupture by never referring to their differences— Santayana

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it was still the policy of the Cardinal ... to carry on the convention that he had not provoked any direct rupture with Vienna— Belloc

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Rift implies a breach that is made usually by some natural process (as one that produces a separation of rocks in a mountain or a cracking of the earth); consequently it is often applied to a breach that is small at first and is in danger of growing larger
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this little rift it was that had widened to a now considerable breach— H. G. Wells

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it is the little rift within the lute, that by and by will make the music mute— Tennyson

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it was, I believe, the terrible Wars of Religion that made the fatal rift between religion and science which we are now trying to close— Inge

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Analogous words: division, severance, separation (see corresponding verbs at SEPARATE): dissension, *discord, difference, variance, strife: estrangement, alienation (see corresponding verbs at ESTRANGE)
Contrasted words: union, *unity, solidarity, integrity: accord, *harmony, concord

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • breach — / brēch/ n 1 a: a violation in the performance of or a failure to perform an obligation created by a promise, duty, or law without excuse or justification breach of duty: a breach of a duty esp. by a fiduciary (as an agent or corporate officer)… …   Law dictionary

  • Breach — (br[=e]ch), n. [OE. breke, breche, AS. brice, gebrice, gebrece (in comp.), fr. brecan to break; akin to Dan. br[ae]k, MHG. breche, gap, breach. See {Break}, and cf. {Brake} (the instrument), {Brack} a break] . 1. The act of breaking, in a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Breach — may refer to:People: * Nicholas Breach, a photographerPlaces: * Breach, Kent, United KingdomIn law:* Breach of confidence, a common law tort that protects private information that is conveyed in confidence * Breach of contract, a situation in… …   Wikipedia

  • (Breach) — Студийный альбом The Wallflowers …   Википедия

  • breach — ► VERB 1) make a gap or hole in; break through. 2) break (a rule or agreement). ► NOUN 1) a gap made in a wall or barrier. 2) an act of breaking a rule or agreement. 3) a break in relations. ● …   English terms dictionary

  • Breach — 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. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • breach — breach, breech The spelling of these two words is often confused. Breach is a noun and verb meaning ‘a break’ or ‘to break’ (as in a breach of contract, to breach the enemy s defences), whereas breech means ‘the back or lower part of something’,… …   Modern English usage

  • breach — [n1] gap aperture, break, chasm, chip, cleft, crack, discontinuity, fissure, hole, opening, rent, rift, rupture, slit, split; concept 513 Ant. bridge, connection breach [n2] violation of a law contravention, delinquency, dereliction, disobedience …   New thesaurus

  • Breach — Breach, v. i. To break the water, as by leaping out; said of a whale. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • breach — breach·er; breach; …   English syllables


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