1. phrasal verb If you break through a barrier, you succeed in forcing your way through it. [V P n] ⇒ Protesters tried to break through a police cordon. [V P + onto] ⇒ About fifteen inmates broke through onto the roof. 2. phrasal verb If you break through, you achieve success even though there are difficulties and obstacles. [V P] ⇒ There is still scope for new writers to break through. [V P n] ⇒ I broke through the poverty barrier and it was education that did it. 3. phrasal verb → break When something that was previously hidden or could not be seen breaks through, it appears. [V P] ⇒ Despite everything, Elizabeth's human side keeps breaking through. [V P n] ⇒ Sunlight had broken through the clouds.
COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © Harper Collins Publishers