break a leg

break a leg

Meaning | Synonyms

  • good luck
  • best wishes
  • stroke of luck
  • to wish someone luck especially before a performance

Example Sentences

  1. "Break a leg!" shouted the stage director to his actors before the beginning of the play.
  2. You have an exam tomorrow? Break a leg!
  3. "My first stage performance is scheduled for tonight." "Well, break a leg!"
  4. "Break a leg!" I shouted out to him before he rushed in for his auditions.
  5. When the team went out for the final race, the coach shouted out to them "break a leg!"
  6. I wish you good luck on the completion of your book writing for publishing. Break a leg!


This phrase has its origin in the world of theater. Performers had a superstition that saying "good luck" would actually bring them bad luck, so "break a leg" was used instead.

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B 10 Thoughts

10 Thoughts

If an actor, actually broke a leg on stage,
the play would be front page news the next day.
everyone would be talking about it for a month.
something like breaking a leg would make any play an instant success..

- Charles Kafka June 22, 2020

It is considered bad luck to say “good luck” to a performer before they go on stage for a performance (it is, in a way, insulting also because they don’t need luck if they have skill). That is why people say “break a leg:” because it is just about the worst thing that could happen to you while on stage, so it is the opposite of saying “good luck.”

- Californian January 19, 2019

Could break a leg refer to the incomparable actress/ renaissance woman who lost a leg to gangrene. Although she didn’t break a leg on the stage, she did act and have a remarkable life on one leg.

- JuneHilde November 7, 2018

Vennesa Merrell said, “Break a leg”, to David while he took it in a sad way.

- Jersha July 23, 2018

Hi that break a leg mean good luck!

- Caden Eisenhauer May 25, 2018

lmao @payton.
I think you scared her, especially if you’d shout.

- Zedboy April 27, 2018

It is a really funny idiom.

- Macaw January 18, 2018

That’s wonderful explanation and good examples.

- Suresh Kumar January 3, 2018

Good explanation!!

- Herolyn October 10, 2016

I said break a leg to my friend on stage and she broke like her back and leg.

- Payton March 29, 2016

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