bank·​rupt·​cy | \ ˈbaŋk-(ˌ)rəp(t)-sē How to pronounce bankruptcy (audio) \
plural bankruptcies

Definition of bankruptcy

1 : the quality or state of being bankrupt
2 : utter failure or impoverishment

Synonyms & Antonyms for bankruptcy



  • solvency
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Examples of bankruptcy in a Sentence

The company is facing bankruptcy. The company was forced into bankruptcy. The number of bankruptcies was especially high last year. Critics view the decision as an example of moral bankruptcy on the part of the administration.
Recent Examples on the Web Seven years later the company, Precise Graphix, is in bankruptcy and its trustee is pinning the blame for its misfortune on NBC and Lemonis. Anousha Sakouistaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 6 May 2022 That is not a cliché because student debt is almost impossible to discharge in bankruptcy. Toby Mathis, Forbes, 18 Mar. 2022 The financial settlement is being paid by insurance companies that had represented Remington, which is in bankruptcy. New York Times, 15 Feb. 2022 Real prices allow consumers to take control of their health finance decisions and enjoy peace of mind that their care won't result in bankruptcy. Fortune, 14 Jan. 2022 Cossey repaid most of her debt to Individual A, while unsecured creditors received only 27% repayment for debts that were discharged in bankruptcy. Carrie Napoleon,, 14 Jan. 2022 Unlike other forms of debt, federal student loans are extremely difficult to discharge in bankruptcy. David Jesse And Anna Clark,, 12 Jan. 2022 Unlike other forms of debt, federal student loans are extremely difficult to discharge in bankruptcy. Anna Clark, ProPublica, 12 Jan. 2022 Worldview, meanwhile, has filed an adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy of its ex-CEO Christopher Woodrow, who it has been battling with since 2014 with dueling claims ranging from embezzlement to defamation. Ashley Cullins, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Jan. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of bankruptcy

circa 1634, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for bankruptcy

Time Traveler

The first known use of bankruptcy was circa 1634

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Dictionary Entries Near bankruptcy



bankrupt worm

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Statistics for bankruptcy

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bankruptcy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for bankruptcy


bank·​rupt·​cy | \ ˈbaŋk-ˌrəpt-sē How to pronounce bankruptcy (audio) \
plural bankruptcies

Kids Definition of bankruptcy

: the state of not having enough money to pay debts The company faces bankruptcy.


bank·​rupt·​cy | \ ˈbaŋ-ˌkrəp-sē How to pronounce bankruptcy (audio) \
plural bankruptcies

Legal Definition of bankruptcy

1 : the quality or state of a bankrupt filed for bankruptcy
2 : the administration of an insolvent debtor's property by the court for the benefit of the debtor's creditors the debt was discharged in bankruptcy bankruptcy proceedings — see also adequate protection, Bankruptcy Code — compare insolvency, receivership

Note: Bankruptcy protects the debtor from debt collection by creditors. A debtor may file for bankruptcy, which is called “voluntary bankruptcy,” or a creditor may petition the court to declare the debtor bankrupt, which is called “involuntary bankruptcy.” Involuntary bankruptcy is allowed only under chapter 7 or chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. There are four types of relief available to individuals or corporations under the Bankruptcy Code: liquidation (chapter 7), reorganization (chapter 11), debt adjustment for a family farmer or fisherman (chapter 12), and debt adjustment for an individual with a regular income (chapter 13). Municipalities may file for bankruptcy under chapter 9. The court determines which debts are to be repaid according to their priority, and the debtor is typically granted a discharge from unpaid debts that are dischargeable under the Bankruptcy Code.

More from Merriam-Webster on bankruptcy

Nglish: Translation of bankruptcy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bankruptcy for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about bankruptcy


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