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breakthrough

[breyk-throo] /ˈbreɪkˌθru/
noun
1.
a military movement or advance all the way through and beyond an enemy's front-line defense.
2.
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.
3.
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.
adjective
4.
constituting a breakthrough:
engineered with breakthrough technology; Critics called it a breakthrough film.
Origin of breakthrough
1915-1920
1915-20; noun use of verb phrase break through
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for breakthrough

break through

verb
1.
(intransitive) to penetrate
2.
(intransitive, adverb) to achieve success, make a discovery, etc, esp after lengthy efforts
noun
3.
a significant development or discovery, esp in science
4.
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
n.

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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