broken

adjective
bro·​ken | \ ˈbrō-kən \

Definition of broken 

1 : violently separated into parts : shattered broken windows
2 : damaged or altered by or as if by breaking (see break entry 1): such as
a : having undergone or been subjected to fracture a broken leg
b : not working properly a broken camera
c of land surfaces : being irregular, interrupted, or full of obstacles a long broken ridge
d : violated by transgression : not kept or honored a broken promise
e : discontinuous, interrupted a broken sleep
f : disrupted by change
g of a tulip flower : having an irregular, streaked, or blotched pattern especially from virus infection
3a : made weak or infirm his old, broken body
b : subdued completely : crushed, sorrowful a broken heart a broken spirit
c : bankrupt
d : reduced in rank was broken from sergeant to private
4a : cut off : disconnected spoke a few broken words
b : imperfectly spoken or written broken English
5 : not complete or full a broken bale of hay
6 : disunited by divorce, separation, or desertion of one parent children from broken homes a broken family

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Other Words from broken

brokenly adverb
brokenness \ ˈbrō-​kə(n)-​nəs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for broken

Synonyms

busted, fractured, fragmented, shattered, smashed

Antonyms

unbroken

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Examples of broken in a Sentence

The street was covered with broken glass. a broken vase that could not be repaired

Recent Examples on the Web

This is the epitome of a broken economic and political system. WSJ, "Who Read What in 2018: Politics and Policy," 10 Dec. 2018 And Michigan's municipal finance system is so broken that this state ranks dead last in the nation for growth in revenue available to cities. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Why can't Michigan solve the biggest problems like it once did?," 30 May 2018 This will be the first Clásico in a decade without Cristiano Ronaldo (now playing at Juventus) or Lionel Messi (out with a broken arm). Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Two Teams, One Manager and Five Months of Misery in Madrid," 26 Oct. 2018 Ferguson was also brought to the Ryder Trauma Center after the collision and was being treated for a broken arm. Wayne K. Roustan, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Driver in deadly wrong-way crash on I-95 had just stabbed girlfriend, police said.," 7 July 2018 Harris, a former special education instructional assistant, suffered a spinal injury, a broken arm and head lacerations that required eight staples. Ian Shapira, Washington Post, "He once defended the poor in court. Now he defends white supremacists.," 2 July 2018 Darwish, who suffered a broken arm, was jailed on suspicion of felony assault and other misdemeanor charges. Lyndsay Winkley, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Did the 'system' fail mentally ill man who shot 2 San Diego police officers? Some think so," 1 July 2018 Two of the men were taken to Aria Torresdale Hospital, one with head trauma and multiple abrasions, the other with a broken right arm, broken right leg, and multiple abrasions. Diane Mastrull, Philly.com, "One pedestrian dead, three injured in separate accidents," 30 June 2018 The woman was suffering from a broken arm, stab wounds to her abdomen, marks from being hit with a blunt object, a leg infection and a possible fractured jaw, authorities said. Nicholas Rondinone, courant.com, "Springfield Man Faces Judge On New Charges Days After Three Bodies Found At Home," 4 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'broken.' 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 broken

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for broken

Middle English, from Old English brocen, from past participle of brecan to break

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Statistics for broken

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for broken

The first known use of broken was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for broken

broken

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of broken

: separated into parts or pieces by being hit, damaged, etc.

: not working properly

: not kept or honored

broken

Kids Definition of broken

 (Entry 1 of 2)

past participle of Break

broken

adjective
bro·​ken | \ ˈbrō-kən \

Kids Definition of broken (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : separated into parts or pieces broken glass a broken bone
2 : not working properly a broken camera
3 : having gaps or breaks a broken line
4 : not kept or followed a broken promise
5 : imperfectly spoken broken English

broken

adjective
bro·​ken | \ ˈbrō-kən \

Medical Definition of broken 

: having undergone or been subjected to fracture a broken leg

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broken

Legal Definition of broken 

past participle of break

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More from Merriam-Webster on broken

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with broken

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for broken

Spanish Central: Translation of broken

Nglish: Translation of broken for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of broken for Arabic Speakers

Comments on broken

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