A breach is a violation of a law, duty, or promise. If you’d contracted to mow your neighbor’s lawn and don’t do it, he can sue you for breach of contract. Or he can mow the lawn himself.

Breach traces back to the Old English verb: brecan, “to break,” which is what breach really means — “a breaking of something.” Breach of contract is a legal way of saying you broke a promise. If your great aunt Edna is a stickler for propriety, she may be horrified when you eat your meat with the salad fork, considering it a breach of good manners.

Definitions of breach
  1. noun

    an opening (especially a gap in a dike or fortification)

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    type of:

    gap, opening

    an open or empty space in or between things

  2. noun

    a personal or social separation (as between opposing factions)

    break, falling out, rift, rupture, severance
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    the formal separation of a church into two churches or the withdrawal of one group over doctrinal differences
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    breakup, detachment, separation

    coming apart

  3. verb

    make an opening or gap in

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    type of:

    open, open up

    cause to open or to become open

  4. noun

    a failure to perform some promised act or obligation

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    breach of contract

    a breach of a legal duty; failure to do something that is required in a contract
    breach of duty

    a breach of due care
    anticipatory breach, constructive breach

    a breach of contract committed prior to the time of required performance
    breach of the covenant of warranty

    a failure of the seller’s guarantee of good title
    breach of promise

    failure to keep a promise (of marriage)
    breach of trust

    violation (either through fraud or negligence) by a trustee of a duty that equity requires of him
    breach of warranty

    a breach that occurs when an item is deficient according to the terms of a warranty
    material breach

    a breach serious enough to destroy the value of the contract and to give a basis for an action for breach of contract
    partial breach

    a breach that does not destroy the value of the contract but can give rise to a claim for damages
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    an unexpected omission

  5. verb

    act in disregard of laws, rules, contracts, or promises

    break, go against, infract, offend, transgress, violate
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    keep, observe

    conform one’s action or practice to

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    sin, transgress, trespass

    commit a sin; violate a law of God or a moral law
    blunder, boob, drop the ball, goof, sin

    commit a faux pas or a fault or make a serious mistake
    conflict, contravene, infringe, run afoul

    go against, as of rules and laws

    break the law
    intrude, trespass

    enter unlawfully on someone’s property

    yield to temptation or sin
    break, break in

    enter someone’s (virtual or real) property in an unauthorized manner, usually with the intent to steal or commit a violent act
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    show a lack of respect for

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