bankrupt

noun
bank·​rupt | \ ˈbaŋk-(ˌ)rəpt How to pronounce bankrupt (audio) \

Definition of bankrupt

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a debtor (such as an individual or an organization) whose property is subject to voluntary or involuntary administration under the bankruptcy laws for the benefit of the debtor's creditors
b : a person who becomes insolvent
2 : a person who is completely lacking in a particular desirable quality or attribute a moral bankrupt

bankrupt

adjective

Definition of bankrupt (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : reduced to a state of financial ruin : impoverished specifically : legally declared a bankrupt the company went bankrupt
b : of or relating to bankrupts or bankruptcy bankrupt laws
2a : broken, ruined a bankrupt professional career
b : exhausted of valuable qualities : sterile a bankrupt old culture
c : destitute used with of or inbankrupt of all merciful feelings

bankrupt

verb
bankrupted; bankrupting; bankrupts

Definition of bankrupt (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to reduce to bankruptcy
2 : impoverish defections had bankrupted the party of its brainpower

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Synonyms & Antonyms for bankrupt

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for bankrupt

Verb

deplete, drain, exhaust, impoverish, bankrupt mean to deprive of something essential to existence or potency. deplete implies a reduction in number or quantity so as to endanger the ability to function. depleting our natural resources drain implies a gradual withdrawal and ultimate deprivation of what is necessary to an existence. personal tragedy had drained him of all spirit exhaust stresses a complete emptying. her lecture exhausted the subject impoverish suggests a deprivation of something essential to richness or productiveness. impoverished soil bankrupt suggests impoverishment to the point of imminent collapse. war had bankrupted the nation of resources

Examples of bankrupt in a Sentence

Noun As a lawyer, she specialized in working with bankrupts. Adjective The lawsuit could leave them bankrupt. she's a kind soul, but bankrupt of all common sense, I'm afraid Verb Several risky deals bankrupted the company. several bad investments bankrupted him
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ghosn was sent to Japan by Renault in the late 1990s and is credited with turning around a then near-bankrupt Nissan. Washington Post, "Scandal-hit Nissan’s profits crash amid lower global sales," 12 Nov. 2019 China’s Hong Kong puppet regime, albeit bankrupt of any legitimacy, is still unwilling to cede power to the people. Joshua Wong, Quartz, "How to fight for democracy when the government keeps throwing you in jail," 3 Sep. 2019 From Henry Ford to Donald Trump, America has lionized business leaders (and shameless bankrupts) who disdain history. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "1998 Was a Seinfeld Election—Not an Impeachment Referendum," 6 June 2019 That perception came back to bite in big way later in 2008, with the failure of investment bank Lehman Brothers, which went bankrupt on Sept. 15, 2008. Michael S. Derby, WSJ, "New York Fed Says It Wound Down Crisis Bailout Facility With $2.5 Billion Profit," 18 Sep. 2018 After earning $17 million, the men declared the company bankrupt. Jacob Bernstein, New York Times, "The Great Interview Magazine Caper," 16 June 2018 Tarsila, bankrupt, divorced from de Andrade and increasingly Marxist, would veer into a more politically engaged style. Jason Farago, New York Times, "She Led Latin American Art in a Bold New Direction," 15 Feb. 2018 Alitalia was officially declared bankrupt in May, when staff rejected a restructuring plan. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Airline Dealmaking Won’t Cure Europe’s Profit Problem," 2 Aug. 2017 The business, which went bankrupt in previous incarnations in 2005 and 2009, may still find a way to restructure its debt out of court. Lauren Coleman-lochner, Bloomberg.com, "Winn-Dixie and Tops Owners Are Said to Prepare for Bankruptcy," 17 Feb. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The pollution threat from the bankrupt refinery didn't begin last spring or end in July 2019 for Reeves and his neighbors. NBC News, "Massive oil refinery leaks toxic chemical in the middle of Philadelphia," 16 Jan. 2020 Wednesday's hearing caps nearly four years of fallout from a scandal surrounding the university's private foundation and its role in funding five high-profile building projects that left the foundation bankrupt and new student scholarships in limbo. Devi Shastri, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former UW-Oshkosh administrators fined $75,500 in felony misconduct case," 15 Jan. 2020 The drivers, nearly all of whom are immigrants, were channeled into reckless loans totaling billions of dollars, leaving many bankrupt and struggling to survive. Brian M. Rosenthal, New York Times, "Bailout Up to $500 Million Proposed for Taxi Drivers Trapped in Loans," 15 Jan. 2020 Seton Medical Center, the 127-year-old Daly City hospital, was on the verge of potential closure after a deal to buy the hospital from its bankrupt owner fell apart last month. Catherine Ho, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area hospital facing closure may have new buyer," 10 Jan. 2020 Charlotte Russe, Charming Charlie and Avenue Stores all went bankrupt and closed all of their locations. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "These retailers are facing the fight for their lives in 2020: Sears, Forever 21, Pier 1," 27 Dec. 2019 Several companies behind the project went bankrupt and the pivots were left in the desert to rust. AZCentral.com, "These 7 industrial farm operations are draining Arizona's aquifers, and no one knows exactly how much they're taking," 5 Dec. 2019 The plant’s bankrupt owner began shutdown on Nov. 7, almost two years ahead of schedule. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "Two of America’s biggest coal plants closed this month," 16 Nov. 2019 Huge swaths of California were without power Wednesday after the (recently bankrupt) utility PG&E—whose downed power lines caused last year’s Camp Fire—preemptively pulled the plug on hundreds of thousands of customers. Wired, "Why the PG&E Blackouts Spared California's Big Tech HQs," 9 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The judge awarded the damages jointly against all of the defendants, so the action has a good shot at bankrupting all three of them. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Judge awards women $13 million in massive lawsuit against GirlsDoPorn," 4 Jan. 2020 Only four years earlier, this post was on the edge of collapse, padlocked for back taxes that went unpaid, members say, by lazy drunks who’d turned this once-respected place into their personal watering hole and bankrupted it. John Carlisle, Freep.com, "Polka, bingo and fish fries are slowly saving VFW post in Michigan's U.P.," 29 Nov. 2019 It was considered so important that, after World War II almost bankrupted it, the tour agency was nationalized from 1948 to 1972. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Bankruptcy of U.K.’s Largest Travel Operator Strands Thousands of Vacationers," 24 Sep. 2019 In 2005, a wave of lawsuits threatened to bankrupt the gun industry. Robert Verbruggen, National Review, "Frivolous Lawsuits Once Again Threaten the Gun Industry," 18 Sep. 2019 After accepting care from UVA, the hospital system billed patients like mine and then sued them for an inability to pay, seizing the homes of some and bankrupting others. Jennifer Adaeze Okwerekwu, STAT, "My baby needed expensive intensive care, but my insurer was taking a long weekend. How can this be?," 13 Dec. 2019 The area has also been plagued by regular power blackouts, implemented by the state's public utility PG&E during high wind events to avoid causing future blazes, which have bankrupted the utility. Dave Brooks, Billboard, "Cannabis' Top Festival Celebrates This Weekend as Competition Concerns, Global Warming Loom," 12 Dec. 2019 By Richard Read, Los Angeles Times A feud that could wind up bankrupting the powerful West Coast dockworkers union began like a scene from a B-grade gangster film, when two men met over a calamari lunch. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, "How a feud over two jobs tipped the West Coast longshore union toward bankruptcy," 29 Nov. 2019 What is freedom to a diabetic who can’t afford insulin, or a middle-class family bankrupted by an emergency room visit? Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Liberalism Is at a Crossroads, Not a Dead End," 12 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bankrupt.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bankrupt

Noun

1638, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

circa 1625, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bankrupt

Noun

modification of Middle French & Old Italian; Middle French banqueroute bankruptcy, from Old Italian bancarotta, from banca bank + rotta broken, from Latin rupta, feminine of ruptus, past participle of rumpere to break — more at bank, reave

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Time Traveler for bankrupt

Time Traveler

The first known use of bankrupt was in 1565

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Statistics for bankrupt

Last Updated

11 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Bankrupt.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bankrupt. Accessed 29 January 2020.

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More Definitions for bankrupt

bankrupt

noun
How to pronounce bankrupt (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bankrupt

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a person, business, etc., that is unable to pay debts

bankrupt

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of bankrupt (Entry 2 of 3)

: unable to pay debts
used to say that someone or something completely lacks a good or desired quality

bankrupt

verb

English Language Learners Definition of bankrupt (Entry 3 of 3)

: to cause (a person, business, etc.) to be unable to pay debts : to make (someone or something) bankrupt

bankrupt

adjective
bank·​rupt | \ ˈbaŋk-ˌrəpt How to pronounce bankrupt (audio) \

Kids Definition of bankrupt

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: not having enough money to pay debts

bankrupt

verb
bankrupted; bankrupting

Kids Definition of bankrupt (Entry 2 of 3)

: to cause to not have enough money to pay debts That last risky deal bankrupted the company.

bankrupt

noun

Kids Definition of bankrupt (Entry 3 of 3)

: a person or business that does not have enough money to pay debts

bankrupt

noun
bank·​rupt | \ ˈbaŋ-ˌkrəpt How to pronounce bankrupt (audio) \

Legal Definition of bankrupt

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a debtor (as an individual or organization) whose property is subject to administration under the bankruptcy laws for the benefit of the debtor's creditors was adjudicated a bankrupt — see also debtor

bankrupt

adjective

Legal Definition of bankrupt (Entry 2 of 3)

: ruined financially especially : judicially declared a bankrupt the company is bankrupt — compare insolvent

Legal Definition of bankrupt (Entry 3 of 3)

: to reduce to bankruptcy was bankrupted by attorney's fees

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Comments on bankrupt

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