a military movement or advance all the way through and beyond an enemy's front-line defense.
an act or instance of removing or surpassing an obstruction or restriction; the overcoming of a stalemate: The president reported a breakthrough in the treaty negotiations.
any significant or sudden advance, development, achievement, or increase, as in scientific knowledge or diplomacy, that removes a barrier to progress: The jet engine was a major breakthrough in air transport.
constituting a breakthrough: engineered with breakthrough technology; Critics called it a breakthrough film.

1915–20; noun use of verb phrase break through Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin & History

1918, in a military sense, from break + through. The verbal phrase is attested from c.1400. Meaning "abrupt solution or progress" is from 1930s, on the notion of a successful attack.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Experts say the breakthrough holds the promise of being a big step forward in
  digital storage with a wide range of potential uses.
He hopes the computer simulation will do that-but there's no guarantee that it
  will yield a breakthrough.
So even successful firms-and especially those riding high-ignore breakthrough
  innovations at their peril.
They recounted the breakthrough and offered prospects for vaccine, for therapy
  and for the epidemic.
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