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break into - 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 [transitive]
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theybreak into
he/she/itbreaks into
present participlebreaking into
past tensebroke into
past participlebroken into
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  1. 1
    break into something to start doing something
    break into a run/trot/gallop etc:

    The children saw the sea and broke into a run.

    break into a smile:

    We watched her puzzled face break gently into a smile.

    break into laughter/applause/song:

    I almost expected him to break into song.

    break into a sweat:

    My legs were shaking with exhaustion, but Phil hadn’t even broken into a sweat.

  2. 2
    break into something to start to have success in your career or an area of activity

    We see the deal with China as a way of breaking into markets in the Far East.

    It’s always been his ambition to break into broadcasting.

  3. 3
    break into something to start to use an amount of money

    We had to break into our savings to pay the fine.

  4. 4
    break into something to interrupt someone when they are talking or thinking

    Christopher’s voice broke into her thoughts.

See also main entry: break

sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

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