Definition of break into in English:

break into

phrasal verb

  • 1Enter or open (a place, vehicle, or container) forcibly, especially for the purposes of theft.

    ‘two raiders broke into his home’
    ‘a friend of mine had his car broken into’
    • ‘Thieves broke into the house through the kitchen window and took a stereo and a tool box.’
    • ‘They broke into the vehicles by smashing the windows, causing more than £600 damage in total.’
    • ‘While he parked at the Trafford Centre to buy a birthday present, thieves broke into the vehicle to seize the laptop, discs and a camera.’
    • ‘In a terrifying incident in 1988, armed raiders broke into her house and threatened her family at gunpoint.’
    • ‘Burglars broke into the house by forcing open a conservatory window and a door leading into the kitchen.’
    • ‘Last night while I was down here with you lot, a burglar broke into my house.’
    • ‘But if we catch somebody red-handed snatching an old lady's bag, or breaking into a vehicle in the street, we've got every right to apprehend them.’
    • ‘Residents on a York housing estate woke up to a scene of destruction after thieves broke into a string of vehicles in a private car park.’
    • ‘Detectives are appealing for information after burglars broke into a house and stole a safe containing items worth £10,000.’
    • ‘In Italy, four armed burglars broke into a man's house.’
    burgle, rob
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Succeed in winning a share of (a market or a position in a profession)
      ‘foreign companies have largely failed to break into the domestic-equity business’
      • ‘I've been in the business for more than 10 years, but I am having a tough time breaking into an upper-management position.’
      • ‘But there is a lot of competition in that area, it's difficult to break into a market when you only have a few customers.’
      • ‘They can offer advice, support and expertise to help companies break into overseas markets.’
      • ‘They're breaking into new markets, launching new products, and starting to think about deals.’
      • ‘Reports from the US say the company is setting aside $50 million to break into the Russian market this year.’
      • ‘Australian exporters keen on breaking into the Japanese market can still find plenty of opportunities.’
      • ‘She broke into a position normally held by retired military officers or well-connected businessmen.’
      • ‘Chinese companies attempting to break into overseas markets are desperately trying to buy or build global brands.’
      • ‘It is hoped that information gained from the three-year project will be used by other farmers who want to break into the organic market.’
      • ‘It also showed that Chinese companies are serious about breaking into the European market.’
    2. 1.2 Interrupt (a conversation)
      ‘Phil broke into the discussion’
      • ‘He started to protest again when Harriman broke into the middle of the conversation.’
      • ‘He walked up and broke into the conversation to let me know that his name was Alex and I would have to leave the premises immediately.’
      • ‘She ignored his apprehension and broke into their conversation boldly.’
      • ‘Kaitlin nodded, finally seeing a chance to break into the conversation.’
      • ‘He had to break into the conversation to make a point.’
      • ‘The young sheriff scratched his head and the well-dressed man broke into the conversation.’
      • ‘They were all trying to find a way to break into the conversation.’
      • ‘Dr. Connelly cleared his throat, breaking into their conversation and making them looked up at him.’
      • ‘Bert decided this would be a good time to break into the conversation, ‘How was your day?’’
      • ‘She broke into the conversation with her usual want of tact.’
      interrupt, butt into, cut in on, intervene in
      View synonyms
  • 2Suddenly or unexpectedly burst forth into (laughter or song)

    ‘he broke into a fit of choking laughter’
    • ‘He was stunned at first, then broke into a fit of laughter.’
    • ‘All three broke into laughing, but were interrupted by the doorbell ringing.’
    • ‘The two girls broke into sudden and unexpected laughter.’
    • ‘He interrupts conversations by breaking into song.’
    • ‘This appeared to be some sort of private joke because they all suddenly broke into laughter.’
    • ‘I just hoped she wouldn't suddenly break into song.’
    • ‘At various points along the way, the group spontaneously broke into song.’
    • ‘And as easily as speaking, she broke into a song that touched the hearts of all those present.’
    • ‘She barely finished the sentence before breaking into another fit of laughter.’
    • ‘Like any musical, it never seems strange when someone breaks into song, accompanied by an entire orchestra that nobody can actually see.’
    begin suddenly, burst into, launch into
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 (of a person's face or mouth) relax into (a smile)
      ‘John's face broke into a grin’
      • ‘He then breaks into a big smile, as if to reassure me he is only teasing.’
      • ‘And he breaks into a smile for the first time today.’
      • ‘‘You are lucky,’ the doctor said, breaking into a smile.’
      • ‘Her wizened face broke into a smile as she took in the sight of the three of them on her doorstep, ‘Visitors!’’
      • ‘Her face brightened and her eyes lit up as her mouth broke into a smile.’
      • ‘She is petite, blonde and quick to break into a sunny smile.’
      • ‘To my astonishment, his usual calm smile broke into a wide mischievous grin.’
      • ‘Her face broke into an uneasy smile as she looked at him, standing tall at 6 feet, with a slim yet athletic build and a devilish glint in his eyes.’
      • ‘The kid broke into a sweet smile on hearing the joke, and with that the old man gave him a bear hug, covering his cheeks with kisses amid joyful tears.’
      • ‘She pulled open the door and felt her mouth break into a rather large grin.’
  • 3Change one's pace to (a faster one)

    ‘Greg broke into a sprint’
    • ‘‘Let's go,’ said Leon as he broke into a sprint, followed closely by his father and brother.’
    • ‘A tear dropped, I started walking faster, and then faster until eventually I broke into a sprint and ran as fast as I could.’
    • ‘I broke into a sprint and ran the rest of the way home.’
    • ‘As soon as James was out of sight of the main room, he broke into a run, sprinting down the hall and throwing the door open.’
    • ‘Arin broke into a sprint, heading down the dark passage.’
    • ‘Ryan stormed down the street and Caleb stared after him in shock then he abruptly let go of Emma, broke into a run and sprinted after Ryan as if the devil was on his heels.’
    • ‘She ducked down an alley, got out of sight of the main crowd, then broke into a sprint.’
    • ‘I keep my pace quite fast without breaking into a jog, just to get my heart rate up.’
    • ‘He breaks into a sprint and dashes across the finishing line.’
    • ‘He then broke into a sprint, knocking the remnants of the door completely off its hinges, and he sped down the staircase into the secret basement.’