break into - definition and synonyms

phrasal verb [transitive]
present tense
I/you/we/theybreak into
he/she/itbreaks into
present participlebreaking into
past tensebroke into
past participlebroken into
  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