English dictionary

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English verb: break in

1. break in (social) enter someone's (virtual or real) property in an unauthorized manner, usually with the intent to steal or commit a violent act

SamplesSomeone broke in while I was on vacation.
They broke into my car and stole my radio!.
Who broke into my account last night?.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s.
Somebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)intrude, trespass

Narrower (hyponym)crack

2. break in (communication) break into a conversation

SamplesHer husband always chimes in, even when he is not involved in the conversation.

Synonymsbarge in, butt in, chime in, chisel in, cut in, put in

Pattern of useSomebody ----s

Broader (hypernym)break up, cut off, disrupt, interrupt

Narrower (hyponym)disrupt, interrupt

3. break in (change) start in a certain activity, enterprise, or role

Pattern of useSomebody ----s

Broader (hypernym)begin, commence, get, get down, set about, set out, start, start out

4. break in (contact) intrude on uninvited

SamplesThe nosy couple broke in on our conversation.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s PP

Broader (hypernym)intrude, irrupt

5. break in (change) break so as to fall inward

SamplesHe broke in the door.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)break

Narrower (hyponym)stave in

6. break in (change) make submissive, obedient, or useful

SamplesThe horse was tough to break.
I broke in the new intern.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)domesticate, domesticise, domesticize, reclaim, tame


Verb groupbreak

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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