(Yes, but is it spilling, plunging, collapsing, or surging?)
In fluid dynamics, a breaking wave is a wave whose amplitude reaches a critical level at which some process can suddenly start to occur that causes large amounts of wave energy to be transformed into turbulent kinetic energy. (Tell me about it). At this point, simple physical models that describe wave dynamics often become invalid, particularly those that assume linear behaviour. (That much I do know)
Because of the horizontal component of the fluid velocity associated with the wave motion, wave crests steepen as the amplitude increases; wave breaking generally occurs where the amplitude reaches the point that the crest of the wave actually overturns.