Definition of break in in English:

break in

phrasal verb

  • 1Force entry to a building.

    ‘it sounded like someone trying to break in’
    • ‘The thieves broke in through the back door of the three-storey building.’
    • ‘When no one answered, they broke in and searched the building, only to find a watchman sleeping at his post.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Police believe the burglars broke in with the intention of stealing stock, but were probably scared off.’
    • ‘The burglar, who broke in by a window at the house yesterday, left through the back door, taking a camcorder.’
    • ‘A disabled woman has been forced out of her home after thugs broke in and smashed up the lounge.’
    • ‘The thieves broke in by forcing a casement window in the dining room before ransacking the house.’
    • ‘Burglars first broke in Tuesday last week and took four projectors, each worth £1, 000, from a corridor.’
    • ‘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.’
    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 publicist, sitting between us in the back seat, broke in, ‘A friend of mine is the U. S. ambassador to France.’’
    • ‘‘So where are we going to go now?’ she broke in.’
    • ‘‘We know that,’ broke in Chris.’
    interrupt, butt in, cut in, interject, interpose, intervene, chime in
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