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 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

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for bankrupt

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 Prior to the label going bankrupt, PolyGram Records purchased 50 percent of Def Jam, and took control of distribution to save the label. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "A Timeline of the Major Events That Defined Def Jam's Legacy in Hip-Hop," 25 Jan. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Unfortunately, this success was put to a halt when the company went bankrupt due to the founder’s poorly placed gamble on sugar price. Benzinga, Detroit Free Press, "Market hit new highs and borrowers get another rate cut," 2 Nov. 2019 Most of the sites that are currently part of the portfolio were part of the group originally known as Gawker Media, which went bankrupt after wrestler Hulk Hogan sued the company in a lawsuit bankrolled by billionaire Peter Thiel. Kerry Flynn, CNN, "Deadspin revolts and editor fired over 'stick to sports' mandate," 29 Oct. 2019 Portman spokesperson Emily Benavides said that without action, the multi-employer pension system will collapse, leaving many Ohio workers and retirees impoverished and forcing many employers to go bankrupt. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland, "Retirees want pension fix from Congress," 16 Oct. 2019 This could cause some organizations to go bankrupt. San Diego Union-Tribune, "California sex abuse law likely to spur thousands of claims," 14 Oct. 2019 Zeroville was originally filmed in 2014 but got pushed back once its distribution company at the time, Alchemy, went bankrupt. Ale Russian, PEOPLE.com, "James Franco, Seth Rogen and Megan Fox Appear in Zeroville Trailer 5 Years After It Was Filmed," 16 Aug. 2019 Her brother David, meanwhile, doesn’t make Oscar pictures and consequently isn’t going bankrupt. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Vice Producer Going Bankrupt," 12 Aug. 2019 But the company went bankrupt in 1983 during a real estate crash. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: WeWork carries Silicon Valley’s ‘unicorn’ craze to its absurd limits," 12 Sep. 2019 In 2017, American Apparel went bankrupt and shut down its factory near Vernon. Christina Binkley, The New Yorker, "Sterling Ruby’s Mixed Media," 2 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Lawyers for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and its Local 8 chapter argued in court papers that the damages awarded to ICTSI Oregon, the former operator of Port of Portland’s Terminal 6, are excessive and could bankrupt the union. oregonlive, "Judge delays entering $93.6 million judgment against longshore workers’ union," 8 Nov. 2019 The sites' former owner Gawker Media was bankrupted after losing a lawsuit filed by Terry Bollea, also known as wrestler Hulk Hogan, and bankrolled by billionaire Peter Thiel. Kerry Flynn, CNN, "Deadspin staffers quit in solidarity with ousted editor," 30 Oct. 2019 The island is in the middle of a 13-year recession that has spurred an exodus of its residents and bankrupted its government. Josh Dawsey, Washington Post, "Trump administration to place new restrictions on billions in aid for Puerto Rico amid island’s political crisis," 1 Aug. 2019 The 10-year independent city auditor position was created in the wake of a city financial crisis in the early and mid-2000s, when unfunded pension obligations nearly bankrupted the city. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Longtime City Hall staffer may become San Diego auditor after national search," 6 July 2019 Keeping a handful of programmers squirreled away on the top floor of the Murray Hill complex was not going to bankrupt the company. Richard Jensen, Ars Technica, "Unix at 50: How the OS that powered smartphones started from failure," 29 Aug. 2019 Germany’s ability to provide citizens access to the latest drugs while keeping patients’ costs so low is made possible by a novel strategy launched in 2011 to rein in exploding prices that were threatening to bankrupt the nation’s healthcare system. Noam N. Levey, latimes.com, "German patients get the latest drugs for just $11. Can such a model work in the U.S.?," 19 June 2019 Instead of debating how to expand Medicare coverage, politicians should focus on fixing the fatal financial flaws in the existing program that threaten to bankrupt the nation. John F. Early, WSJ, "Modest Cuts Could Save Medicare From Disaster," 10 June 2019 Eliot Spitzer, who has not been heard from in a little while, promised that any holdouts would be bankrupted. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "The Lawfare Campaign against Gunmakers," 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bankrupt

Time Traveler for bankrupt

Time Traveler

The first known use of bankrupt was in 1565

See more words from the same year

Statistics for bankrupt

Cite this Entry

“Bankrupt.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bankrupting. Accessed 21 November 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on bankrupt

What made you want to look up bankrupt? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

strength of mind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • pasta resembling wheels with spokes
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!