verb (1)
\ ˈbȯrk How to pronounce bork (audio) \
variants: or less commonly Bork
borked also Borked; borking also Borking; borks also Borks

Definition of bork

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

US politics, informal
: to attack or defeat (a nominee or candidate for public office) unfairly through an organized campaign of harsh public criticism or vilification In any event, seeing one of their own being borked may itself energize the conservative base, even beyond what a conservative nomination would do.— Mark Tushnet In 1987, conservative judge Robert Bork endured such virulent criticism … that to this day, a nominee sidelined by activists is said to have been "borked."— Claire Suddath


verb (2)
borked; borking; borks

Definition of bork (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cause (something, such as an electronic device) to stop working properly : break If your data's backed up, it won't be the end of the world if a rogue Windows update or nasty bit of malware borks your computer.— Brad Chacos — see also borked

First Known Use of bork

Verb (1)

1987, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

2003, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bork

Verb (1)

after Robert Bork †2012 U.S. judge whose nomination to the Supreme Court in 1987 was harshly criticized

Verb (2)

perhaps alteration of break entry 1 by association with bork entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bork

Statistics for bork

Cite this Entry

“Bork.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Comments on bork

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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