break in

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See also: break-in and breakin'



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break in (third-person singular simple present breaks in, present participle breaking in, simple past broke in, past participle broken in)

  1. (intransitive) To enter a place by force or illicit means.
    Someone broke in and stole his radio.
    • 2013 June 18, Simon Romero, “Protests Widen as Brazilians Chide Leaders”, in New York Times, retrieved 21 June 2013:
      Thousands gathered at São Paulo’s main cathedral and made their way to the mayor’s office, where a small group smashed windows and tried to break in, forcing guards to withdraw.
  2. (transitive, idiomatic) To cause (something, or someone, new) to function more naturally through use or wear
    These shoes will be more comfortable after I have broken them in.
  3. (transitive, idiomatic) Starting something brand new or at a new level.
    He broke in with the New York Yankees.
  4. (transitive, of a horse) To tame; make obedient; to train to follow orders of the owner.
    • 1877, Anna Sewell, Black Beauty: [], London: Jarrold and Sons, [], →OCLC:
      Captain had been broken in and trained for an army horse; his first owner was an officer of cavalry going out to the Crimean war. He said he quite enjoyed the training with all the other horses, trotting together, turning together, to the right hand or the left, halting at the word of command, or dashing forward at full speed at the sound of the trumpet or signal of the officer.
  5. (transitive) To take the virginity of a girl, to deflower.
    • 2002, Allison Moorer (lyrics and music), “Ruby Jewel Was Here”, in Miss Fortune:
      While brothel patrons placed their bets / On who would be the first to break her in
  6. (intransitive) To interrupt one's conversation; speak before another person has finished speaking.

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