breakthrough [breyk-throo] EXAMPLES|WORD ORIGIN noun 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. adjective constituting a breakthrough: engineered with breakthrough technology; Critics called it a breakthrough film.

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  • Origin of breakthrough First recorded in 1915–20; noun use of verb phrase break through Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019 Related Words for breakthroughs development, hike, improvement, leap, gain, finding, progress, boost, discovery, increase, rise, invention, find Examples from the Web for breakthroughs Contemporary Examples of breakthroughs

  • Like Carver, Borlaug then sought to institutionalize his breakthroughs.

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    The Daily Beast

    October 17, 2014

  • Patents provide a vital protection for innovation and breakthroughs.

    Tesla’s Radical Patent Move is a Plot to Take Over the Road

    Daniel Gross

    June 15, 2014

  • But James was often too early to get credit for his breakthroughs.

    Charles James Brings Ball Gowns Back to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Erin Cunningham

    May 6, 2014

  • The book is also filled with stories of breakthroughs that began with a question.

    Warren Berger Tells How to Ask a ‘Beautiful Question’

    Scott Goodson

    March 8, 2014

  • The summit, held this past Tuesday, does not seem to have made any breakthroughs on furthering the peace process.

    Taliban’s Quetta Shura Meet in Islamabad to Press for Peace

    Ron Moreau

    November 1, 2013

  • Historical Examples of breakthroughs

  • Breakthroughs between entries, except as hereinbefore provided, shall be made not exceeding sixty feet apart.

    Mining Laws of Ohio, 1921


  • Word Origin and History for breakthroughs 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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