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From house +‎ breaker.


housebreaker (plural housebreakers)

  1. A criminal who breaks into and enters another's house or premises with the intent of committing a crime.
    Synonym: (slang) drummer [Britain]
    Alternative forms: house breaker, house-breaker
    • 1726 October 28, [Jonathan Swift], “The Author’s Oeconomy and Happy Life among the Houyhnhnms. []”, in Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. [] [Gulliver’s Travels], volume II, London: [] Benj[amin] Motte, [], →OCLC, part IV (A Voyage to the Houyhnhnms), page 301:
      [] here were no Gibers, Cenſurers, Backbiters, Pick-pockets, Highwaymen, Houſebreakers, Attorneys, Bawds, Buffoons, Gameſters, Politicians, Wits, ſplenetick tedious Talkers, Controvertiſts, Raviſhers, Murderers, Robbers, Virtuoſo's; []
    • 1869 May, Anthony Trollope, “Miss Stanbury’s Generosity”, in He Knew He Was Right, volume I, London: Strahan and Company, [], →OCLC, page 93:
      [H]e is dressed in such a rapscallion manner that the people would think you were talking to a house-breaker.
    • 1968 November 19, “‘Infuriated’ vicar's wife routs interloper”, in Montreal Gazette, Canada, retrieved 21 September 2010, page 9:
      The vicar seized a sword and routed the housebreaker, but it was the vicar's wife in a nightgown and coat who caught up with the fleeing intruder, slapped his face and held him by the neck.
    • 2009 May 20, "Serial housebreaker nabbed," AsiaOne (Singapore) (retrieved 21 Sep 2010):
      A serial housebreaker who is believed to have stolen from several homes in Ang Mo Kio last month was nabbed on Tuesday.


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