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 17 Thoughts

17 Thoughts

If they break a leg, they’re in the cast.

- Chad February 24, 2021

It is very interesting to wish someone’s luck by break a leg word.

- Yalda February 19, 2021

As Katelyn went to perform in the school play, her mother yelled, “Break a Leg!” She wanted Katelyn to do her very best.

- Anonymous December 3, 2020

The most common theory refers to an actor breaking the “leg line” of the stage. In the early days of theater, this is where ensemble actors were queued to perform. If actors were not performing, they had to stay behind the “leg line,” which also meant they wouldn’t get paid.

If you were to tell the actor to “break a leg,” you were wishing them the opportunity to perform and get paid.

- Jim S. November 18, 2020

Good luck would be considered bad luck. Therefore an alternative way of wishing luck was developed. An expression that uses words to mean something different than what they usually mean.

- Zohreh Iraniparast September 13, 2020

It was a very interesting and funny term that we wish to break someone’s leg in order to be successful. 😂

- Mitra September 10, 2020

Imagine the sinister undertone this expression may carry if you shout it out to an agressive fighter during an MMA fight!

- Anonymous August 27, 2020

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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