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A sea surface wave that has become too steep to be stable and that breaks on the shore or in the open ocean.

Breakers can be classified into four categories: 1) A spilling breaker breaks gradually over a considerable distance; 2) plunging breakers tend to curl over and break with a crash; 3) surging breakers peak up, but then instead of spilling or plunging, they surge up on the beach face; 4) collapsing breakers break in the middle or near the bottom of the wave rather than at the top.

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