break open

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break open

To suddenly and decisively take control of a competition. A noun can be used between "break" and "open" or after "open." The game was close through the first two periods, but then the other team broke it open by scoring two quick goals. We can break open this game if we score first.
See also: break, open
References in classic literature ?
He was as good as his word: for he rode immediately to his house, and complained of the trespass on his manor in as high terms and as bitter language as if his house had been broken open, and the most valuable furniture stole out of it.
Mr Chester held the bed-curtain farther back, and looked at him with a vague impression that he was some maniac, who had not only broken open the door of his place of confinement, but had brought away the lock.
French carpenters had broken open, during the same night, the two churches, and stolen all the plate: one of the robbers, however, subsequently confessed, and the plate was recovered.
I came close to him and, looking as unconcerned as I could, told him in an undertone that I had found the locker broken open and the money-belt gone.
But when they had broken open the door they found no one within; and as they came back into the house, Ashputtel was lying, as she always did, in her dirty frock by the ashes, and her dim little lamp was burning in the chimney.
The benchers determined to have his door broken open, as he hadn't paid any rent for two years.