Definition of break in in English:

break in

phrasal verb

  • 1Force entry to a building.

    ‘would-be thieves had smashed the door lock in an attempt to break in’
    • ‘The burglar, who broke in by a window at the house yesterday, left through the back door, taking a camcorder.’
    • ‘Police believe the burglars broke in with the intention of stealing stock, but were probably scared off.’
    • ‘The thieves broke in through a rear window after scaling up a drain pipe to enter the first floor of the store, which covers 6,000 square feet.’
    • ‘The thieves broke in through the back door of the three-storey building.’
    • ‘Burglars first broke in Tuesday last week and took four projectors, each worth £1, 000, from a corridor.’
    • ‘The thieves broke in by forcing a casement window in the dining room before ransacking the house.’
    • ‘When no one answered, they broke in and searched the building, only to find a watchman sleeping at his post.’
    • ‘A disabled woman has been forced out of her home after thugs broke in and smashed up the lounge.’
    • ‘They broke in by forcing a lock on a door and then made off in a stolen car.’
    • ‘The raid happened at 9.30 on Saturday night and police are not revealing how the robbers broke in.’
    commit burglary, break and enter
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  • 2[with direct speech] Interject.

    ‘‘I don't want to interfere,’ Mrs Hendry broke in’
    ‘the doctor's voice broke in on her thoughts’
    • ‘‘So where are we going to go now?’ she broke in.’
    • ‘‘We know that,’ broke in Chris.’
    • ‘The publicist, sitting between us in the back seat, broke in, ‘A friend of mine is the U. S. ambassador to France.’’
    interrupt, butt in, cut in, interject, interpose, intervene, chime in
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