The “breaking,” from the Latin fractio, is the act of breaking the bread of the species consecrated in the Mass.  This action of breaking is part of the communion rite.

The breaking of bread, the gesture of Christ at the Last Supper, gave the entire Eucharistic action its name in apostolic times.  In addition to its practical aspect, it signifies that in communion we who are many are made one body in the one bread that is Christ (1 Cor 10:17).  It is thus a sign of unity and community. (8:3)