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break in - definition and synonyms


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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theybreak in
he/she/itbreaks in
present participlebreaking in
past tensebroke in
past participlebroken in
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  1. 1
    [intransitive] to enter a building by force, especially in order to steal things

    Someone had broken in through the bedroom window.

  2. 2
    [intransitive] to interrupt when someone is talking

    ‘Hilary,’ he broke in gently, ‘I’m just trying to help.’

  3. 5
    [transitive] to train a horse that is young or wild
See also main entry: break


to fall over forwards so that your face hits the ground or another surface

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the activity of exploring abandoned buildings and other manmade structures

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