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[breyk-throo] /ˈbreɪkˌθru/
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.
Origin of breakthrough
1915-20; noun use of verb phrase break through Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for breakthrough
  • 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.
  • But the apparent breakthrough had proved chimerical.
  • Ng has had a breakthrough that renewed his faith in his childhood dream.
  • But a sudden breakthrough could pose some tricky questions.
  • First breakthrough in applying spin-based electronics to silicon.
  • But the breakthrough that made them famous was the ability of computers to plot them in a way that is easy on the eye.
  • Peace talks have ground on for years, but a breakthrough is never made.
British Dictionary definitions for breakthrough

break through

(intransitive) to penetrate
(intransitive, adverb) to achieve success, make a discovery, etc, esp after lengthy efforts
a significant development or discovery, esp in science
the penetration of an enemy's defensive position or line in depth and strength
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for breakthrough

1918, in a military sense, from break (v.) + through (adv.). 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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