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break-in

[ breyk-in ]
/ ˈbreɪkˌɪn /
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noun
an illegal entry into a home, car, office, etc.
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Origin of break-in

First recorded in 1855–60; noun use of verb phrase break in
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use break-in in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for break-in

break in

verb (adverb)
(sometimes foll by on) to interrupt
(intr) to enter a house, etc, illegally, esp by force
(tr) to accustom (a person or animal) to normal duties or practice
(tr) to use or wear (shoes, new equipment, etc) until comfortable or running smoothly
(tr) Australian and NZ to bring (new land) under cultivation
noun break-in
  1. the illegal entering of a building, esp by thieves
  2. (as modifier)the break-in plans
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with break-in

break in

1

Enter by force, as in The thieves broke in through the back door. [Mid-1500s] Also see break into.

2

Also, break in on. Interrupt or disturb something unexpectedly, as in His assistant broke in with the bad news just as we were ready to sign the agreement, or He broke in on our private talks. [Mid-1600s]

3

Train or instruct someone in a new job or enterprise, as in Every semester she had to break in a new teaching assistant. [Late 1700s]

4

Loosen or soften with use, as in It takes a while to break in a pair of new shoes.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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