From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishbreak in phrasal verb1 ENTERto enter a building by using force, in order to steal something Thieves broke in and stole £10,000 worth of computer equipment. → break-in2 INTERRUPTto interrupt someone when they are speaking on I didn’t want to break in on his telephone conversation. with Dad would occasionally break in with an amusing comment.3 WEAR CLOTHES break something ↔ in to make new shoes or boots less stiff and more comfortable by wearing them I went for a walk to break in my new boots.4 USED TO/ACCUSTOMED TO break somebody in to help a person get used to a certain way of behaving or working She’s quite new to the job, so we’re still breaking her in.5 break something ↔ in to teach a young horse to carry people on its back We break the horses in when they’re about two years old. → break→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusbreak in• Thieves broke into the gallery and made off with paintings valued at over $2 million.• "Sam, what on earth are you talking about?' she broke in at last.• Elaine took a six-month break in her studies.• 'That's enough, ' the guard broke in impatiently. 'Hurry up and say goodbye.'• The tutor finally broke in on Sam's monologue, much to the relief of the rest of the class.• If anyone tries to break in, the alarm will go off.• Occasionally you could see the moon through a break in the clouds.• There was an awkward break in the conversation.break with• I broke in with sketches for Dave Allen and Frankie Howerd.• TV news anchors periodically broke in with updates on the incident.break-inˈbreak-in noun [countable] SCCSTEALan act of entering a building illegally and by force, especially in order to steal things Since the break-in we’ve had all our locks changed. → break in at break1
Examples from the Corpusbreak-in• And Channing says there was no obvious evidence of a break-in.• There was a break-in at the college last night -- they took all the computers.• The local police were informed of the whereabouts of the statues, just in case anyone mistakenly reported an attempted break-in.• This is the second computer break-in at a major technology company that has been publicized in recent months.• Sure enough, a guy showed up at Zia on the day of the break-in with a stack of the stolen goods.• At least there was little evidence remaining of the break-in.• Until the break-in, he had planned to use it that summer on a cross-country bicycle trip.• The break-in occurred between midnight and six in the morning.