break the news

Idioms & Phrases

break the news

Make something known, as in We suspected that she was pregnant but waited for her to break the news to her in-laws. This term, in slightly different form (break a matter or break a business), dates from the early 1500s. Another variant is the 20th-century journalistic phrase, break a story, meaning "to reveal a news item or make it available for publication."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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