Difference Between Break and Brake

Key Difference – Break vs Brake 


Between the words break and brake exists a clear difference although one might confuse the two words easily as they are often pronounced in the same way. Break refers to separating into pieces due to a blow. For example, a vase can break. Break can also be used for intervals or gaps of time as well, for instance in a classroom a teacher can give the students a small break before commencing a new lesson. On the other hand, brake refers to a device used for slowing or stopping a moving vehicle. Brakes can be found in all types of vehicles ranging from bicycles to aeroplanes. The key difference between break and brake is that the word break has several meanings while brake is a device in vehicles. Through this article, let us comprehend the difference between the two words while gaining a better understanding of each word.

What is Break?

The word break has a number of meanings, some as nouns and also as verbs. Let us pay attention to the meanings of the word along with examples.

Break as a Verb

1. Become separated into pieces

Example – He broke the glass.

2. To become detached from something

Example – Why don’t you break some twigs from the tree over there. We can use them.

3. To produce on the skin

Example – You have broken a sweat running all the way from home.

4. To escape

Example – She was tormented by her surrounding that she decided to break away.

5. To surpass something

Example – He broke the world record at the Olympics.

6. To make something useless

Example – I didn’t mean to, but I think I broke your CD player.

7. To cancel

Example – She was so fed up with the aggression that he displayed towards her that she finally decided to break off the engagement.

8. To have no money

Example – As much as I would love to go out with you guys today, I cannot. I am completely broke these days.

9. To tame

Example – It will not be easy to break that horse, it has such a wild spirit.

10. To crack

Example – The mirror broke.

11. To fracture

Example – He has broken his arm while playing with the boys yesterday.

As you can see, the word break can be used in different situations to bring out different meanings. However, here we have only paid attention to the verb. The word break can also be used as a noun. Here are some examples.

Break as a Noun

1. The beginning

Example – It was the break of dawn.

2. An interval

Example – She asked us to take a break.

In various disciplines, the word break denotes a special meaning such as in the case of music, geology and even in sports.

Difference Between Break and Brake

What is Brake?

Brake refers to a device used for slowing or stopping a moving vehicle. In all vehicles brakes can be identified. These are mostly connected to the wheel or rotating axles. Brakes use the friction between two surfaces in order to function. There are different types of brakes such as,

  • Shoe Brake
  • Pad brake
  • Band brake
  • Drum brake
  • Disc brake
  • Jake brake
  • Electromechanical brakes
  • Electromagnetic brakes

This highlights that the two words break and brake have two very different meanings, and should not be confused with one another. The difference between the two can be summarized as follows.

Break vs Brake

What is the Difference Between Break and Brake?

Definitions of Break and Brake:

Break: Break refers to separating into pieces due to a blow.

Brake: Brake refers to a device used for slowing or stopping a moving vehicle.

Characteristics of Break and Brake:


Break: The word break can have a variety of meanings in different situations.

Brake: The word brake usually has a single meaning.


Break: This word is used both as a noun and as a verb.

Brake: This word is mostly used as a noun, although it can sometimes be used as a verb as well.


Image Courtesy:

1. Broken glass By Jef Poskanzer (originally posted to Flickr as smash) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

2.”Disc brake“. [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons