A failure to follow a law or rule.
Breach is a noun that refers to a violation of a law or obligation such as a contract, thereby representing a break in a relation or agreement. Examples of ‘breaches’ include a breach of contract, a breach of confidence, a breach of trust, and a data breach.
Breach is a term that is predominantly used in the legal lexicon or within collocations of jurisprudence. A breach generally occurs when one party causes an infraction during a binding agreement which renders the obligation void or unhonoured. The failure to fulfil the obligation in a breach of contract can lead to further legal action such as the termination of a contract and seeking damages in the form of compensation. Therefore, a breach might mean that one party is sued by another.
A data breach, on the other hand, refers to the dissemination of confidential information to an audience or environment it was not intended for. This is a type of security incident in which sensitive material is released without permission of the owners. The President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his hotel chains have recently been hit by a series of data ‘breaches’, with card payment data and other sensitive material being targeted in an attack.
1 a failure to follow a law or rule
breach of: Reproduction of the CD constitutes a breach of copyright.
be in breach of something: The company was found to be in breach of environmental regulations.
a. a failure to do something that you have promised to do or that people expect you to do
breach of contract: If you don’t deliver on time, you could be sued for breach of contract.
breach of trust/confidentiality: a clear breach of patient confidentiality
b. a situation in which someone does something that goes against accepted rules of social behaviour
an embarrassing breach of etiquette
c. FORMAL a serious disagreement
This could lead to a major breach in our relationship with China.
3 FORMAL a space made in a wall, fence, or line of defence, especially during a military attack