1

bankrupt

noun bank·rupt \ ˈbaŋk-(ˌ)rəpt \
|Updated on: 8 Aug 2018

Definition of bankrupt

1 a : a debtor (such as an individual or an organization) whose property is subject to voluntary or involuntary administration under the bankrupcy 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

Examples of bankrupt in a Sentence

  1. As a lawyer, she specialized in working with bankrupts.

Recent Examples of bankrupt from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of bankrupt

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


2

bankrupt

adjective

Definition of bankrupt

1 a : 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
2 a : broken, ruined
  • a bankrupt professional career
b : exhausted of valuable qualities : sterile
  • a bankrupt old culture
c : destitute used with of or in
  • bankrupt of all merciful feelings

Examples of bankrupt in a Sentence

  1. The lawsuit could leave them bankrupt.

  2. she's a kind soul, but bankrupt of all common sense, I'm afraid

Recent Examples of bankrupt from the Web

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.

First Known Use of bankrupt

1565

in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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3

bankrupt

verb

Definition of bankrupt

bankrupted; bankrupting; bankrupts
1 : to reduce to bankruptcy
2 : impoverish
  • defections had bankrupted the party of its brainpower

Examples of bankrupt in a Sentence

  1. Several risky deals bankrupted the company.

  2. several bad investments bankrupted him

Recent Examples of bankrupt from the Web

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.

First Known Use of bankrupt

circa 1625

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

bankrupt Synonyms

Synonyms

break, bust, ruin;

Near Antonyms

enrich, richen;

Synonym Discussion of bankrupt

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


BANKRUPT Defined for English Language Learners

bankrupt

Definition of bankrupt for English Language Learners

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


bankrupt

Definition of bankrupt for English Language Learners

  • : unable to pay debts

  • —used to say that someone or something completely lacks a good or desired quality


bankrupt

Definition of bankrupt for English Language Learners

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


BANKRUPT Defined for Kids

1

bankrupt

adjective bank·rupt \ ˈbaŋk-ˌrəpt \

Definition of bankrupt for Students

: not having enough money to pay debts

2

bankrupt

verb

Definition of bankrupt for Students

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

3

bankrupt

noun

Definition of bankrupt for Students

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

Law Dictionary

1

bankrupt

noun bank·rupt \ ˈbaŋ-ˌkrəpt \

legal Definition of bankrupt

: 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

2

bankrupt

adjective

legal Definition of bankrupt

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

3

bankrupt

transitive verb

legal Definition of bankrupt

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


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