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 \ -​kə(n)-​nəs \ noun

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

The most common types of injuries included broken bones, concussions, bruises and strains or sprains. Samantha Schmidt, Anchorage Daily News, "Tourists on honeymoon collide while zip-lining, leaving husband dead and wife injured," 10 July 2018 The most common types of injuries included broken bones, concussions, bruises and strains or sprains. Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post, "Tourists on honeymoon collide while zip-lining, leaving husband dead and wife injured," 9 July 2018 Keep the broken bone ends and adjacent joints from moving. Cliff Kapono, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Basic CPR and First aid procedures," 8 July 2018 Unfortunately the broken bone forced the Foo Fighters to cancel several subsequent shows. Lydia Price, PEOPLE.com, "13 Brave Singers Who Survived Absolutely Brutal Stage Falls," 9 July 2018 Science cannot talk its way through or out of a broken heart though. Amber Leventry, Longreads, "Making Peace with Selective Reduction," 29 June 2018 Meanwhile, comparatively speaking, LeBron James is driving a 2001 Pontiac Sunfire with cloth seats, one missing floor mat, hand-crank windows and a broken clock (see J.R. Smith) . Mike Bianchi, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Advice to Magic fans: Ignore media and put trust in Jeff Weltman during NBA Draft," 8 June 2018 In 1989, fans voted in Jose Canseco and Mike Schmidt – even through Canseco had been out all year with a broken wrist, and Schmidt had retired. Greg Moore, azcentral, "Moore: Diamondbacks utility player Daniel Descalso deserves to be All-Star," 26 June 2018 His junior season in football ended with a broken wrist in the first week. Dave Melton, Post-Tribune, "Braden's punch: Chesterton's Braden Corzan picked as the 2018 Post-Tribune Boys Track Athlete of the Year," 26 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

9 Nov 2018

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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Comments on broken

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

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