break through

Idioms & Phrases

break through

Penetrate a barrier or obstruction, as in They broke through the wall to get into the vault, or It won't be long before we break through the code and map all human genes. Used literally for going through a physical barrier since about 1400, this phrase began to be used figuratively in the late 1500s.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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