Leave hurriedly, escape, get loose. For example, The boy tried to break away, but his mother held onto his coat, or On the last lap the horse broke away from the pack. [First half of 1500s]
Sever connections with a group. For example, It was hard for me to break away from that organization, but I knew it was necessary.
Stop doing something, as in She broke away from work long enough to go out for lunch.