break in

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break in

1. verb To force entry into something, often a building. They called the police as soon as they heard someone break in downstairs. I had to break in—I didn't have my house key, and no one else was home!
2. verb To interrupt someone or something. I'm sorry to break in, but I have some information that might help. Mom is always using the phone in her office to break in on my conversations!
3. verb To use an object or item enough that it begins to feel comfortable or be more easily usable. Often said of shoes. In this usage, a noun can be used between "break" and "in." It took a while to break in my new leather boots, but they sure are comfy now.
4. verb To teach or train someone to do a new job or task and thereby raise their level of experience beyond that of a novice. Don't worry, I'll break in the new hire before I assign her to your project.
5. verb To destroy a physical structure. In this usage, a noun can be used between "break" and "in." I'll break this door in if you don't come out here right now!
6. noun An instance of forced entry into something, often a building. In this usage, the phrase is usually hyphenated. This neighborhood has had a lot of break-ins recently. A shattered window is often evidence of a break-in.
See also: break

break someone in

to train someone to do a new job; to supervise someone who is learning to do a new job. Who will break the new employee in? I have to break in a new receptionist.
See also: break

break something in

 
1. Lit. to crush or batter something to pieces; to break something down. Why are you breaking the door in? Here's the key! Who broke in the door?
2. Fig. to use a new device until it runs well and smoothly; to wear shoes, perhaps a little at a time, until they feel comfortable. I can't drive at high speed until I break this car in. I want to go out this weekend and break in the car. The new shoes hurt her feet because they were not yet broken in.
See also: break

break in (to something or some place)

to force entry into a place criminally; to enter some place forcibly for the purpose of robbery or other illegal acts. The thugs broke into the liquor store. They broke in and took all the money.
See also: break

break in

 (on someone)
1. to burst into a place and violate some one's privacy. The police broke in on him at his home and arrested him. They needed a warrant to break in.
2. to interrupt someone's conversation. (See also break in (on something).) If you need to talk to me, just break in on me. Feel free to break in if it's an emergency.
See also: break

break in

(on something) to interrupt something; to intrude upon something. (See also break in (on someone).) I didn't mean to break in on your discussion. Please don't break in on us just now. This is important.
See also: break

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.
See also: break

break in

v.
1. To enter a place forcibly or illegally: While we were out of the house, a thief tried to break in.
2. To interrupt a conversation or discussion: We were talking about the weather when my friend broke in and said it was time to leave.
3. To loosen or soften something with use: I need to break in my new boots before I take any long hikes.
4. To train or domesticate an animal: Be sure to break in your puppies at an early age. The horses were very good to ride once the trainer had broken them in.
5. To accustom someone to a new task: The sergeant broke in the new recruits to the army way of life. It was hard to keep up with the work, but my colleagues broke me in gradually.
See also: break
References in periodicals archive ?
According to the National Police Agency, the total number of lock-picking break-ins across Japan stood at 3,300 in August last year, but in February it dropped to 1,600.
Police say the break-ins typically involve forced entry or entering through an unlocked door or window and the theft of small valuable items such as jewelry and electronics.
Officers say they are implanting tracker devices in property at houses in at risk areas, using "smart water" to mark possessions and focusing on at risk areas, as well as investigating all break-ins through the city's two dedicated burglary squads.
Students at the University of Birmingham reported only 13 break-ins at their flats and bedsits in the Boumbrook and Selly Oak area over the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Configuresoft, the Windows NT/2000 configuration management company, today announced that by using Enterprise Configuration Manager (ECM) organizations can eliminate the security vulnerabilities that have led to electronic break-ins at more than 40 Windows-based Web sites.
Law enforcement agencies are concerned about an increase in break-ins and burglaries in Paphos over the Christmas and New Year holidays, the Cyprus News Agency said on Monday.
THE BOSS of a care company hit by two burglaries in little more than a week has posted CCTV footage of one of the break-ins online in a bid to catch the burglars.
Details of a series of break-ins and sickening attacks on young girls were known to police in Portugal when Madeleine disappeared in May 2007.
POLICE have increased patrols in the Battlefield area of Newcastle after an increase in break-ins to cars.
Sterling Police Chief Gary Chamberland said there have been almost a dozen car break-ins over the last week.
The break-ins happened between 9pm on Friday and 8am on Saturday when 14 sheds were broken into and a car was damaged in Marigold Court, Marigold Avenue and Renforth Close.
In each of the break-ins, valuables had been left on display inside the cars and thieves forced their way inside to steal the items.
The town suffered 20 home break-ins per 1,000 households in 2008-9, a higher figure than anywhere else on Teesside, County Durham, North Yorkshire, Northumbria or Cumbria.
Detectives recovered this set of clubs in St Mellons, Cardiff, and believe they are linked to the series of break-ins between May 31 and June 4.
Despite many police warnings and an increase in patrols, officers say the break-ins are continuing and will do so as long as people leave their bags and phones in car boots while they go off for a stroll.