Brake vs break

Brake is the word for a mechanism that stops motion or reduces speed, or the act of applying a brake in order to stop motion or reduce speed. Brake appears in the middle of the fifteenth century with the meaning of an instrument for crushing or pounding, from the Dutch word braeke. The word applied to many things used for crushing, in the 1700s, brake came to mean something that stops a wheel.

Break means to split something into parts or pieces or render inoperable by applying force. Break may also mean to render an animal, such as a horse, tame or obedient. Break may also mean to spill the news, to demote, to make irregular. Break comes from the Old English word brecan, meaning to break, shatter, burst, injure, violate, destroy, curtail, burst forth, subdue, tame.


Britain is seeking an “emergency brake” to allow countries which are in the European Union but outside the euro zone to delay decisions that could threaten their interests, the Financial Times reported. (The Business Insider)

Motorist plummets down a hill after confusing clutch for brake in epic parking fail (The Mirror)

A back wheel and part of the braking system fell off a Delta Air Lines plane during takeoff from Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport last week, Israeli television reported Sunday. (The Times of Israel)

Why did Russian plane break up in the air over the Sinai desert?  (The Guardian)

Officials break ground on development at Lake St. and Hiawatha Av. site (The Star Tribune)

Authorities are responding to a gas main break Monday morning on Route 72, authorities said. (The Asbury Park Press)

Coronation Street’s Brooke Vincent is set to take a break from the soap after more than a decade. (The Irish Examiner)

“I hate the word breaking — it’s more like educating,” Moore said. “If you break a horse, it’s like that old cowboy thing that you’re breaking the spirit” (Newsday)

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