break ranks

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British pronunciation/bɹˈeɪk ɹˈaŋks/
American pronunciation/bɹˈeɪk ɹˈæŋks/
to break ranks

to publicly oppose a group or party that one has been a member of

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to [break] ranks definition and meaning

What is the origin of the idiom "break ranks" and when to use it?

The idiom "break ranks" has its origins in military terminology and tactics. In a military formation, soldiers stand in a line or formation called ranks. "Breaking ranks" refers to an individual soldier or a group of soldiers deviating from the prescribed formation by stepping out of line or breaking the orderly arrangement. The term has been figuratively extended beyond its military context to describe acts of dissent, rebellion, or disagreement within an organization, group, or team, where someone goes against the established norms or unity.

The politician risks backlash by breaking ranks with their party and advocating for a different approach.
If the negotiations fail, the country might break ranks and pursue its own course of action.
The employee bravely breaks ranks and exposes the company's unethical practices.
She broke ranks with her colleagues and spoke out against the discriminatory policies of the organization.
The diplomat broke ranks with their government and revealed classified information to the public.
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Definition & Meaning of "To [break] ranks"
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