Definition of broken
1 : violently separated into parts : shattered broken windows
2 : damaged or altered by or as if by breaking (see 1break): such asa : having undergone or been subjected to fracture a broken legb : not working properly a broken camerac of land surfaces : being irregular, interrupted, or full of obstacles a long broken ridged : violated by transgression : not kept or honored a broken promisee : discontinuous, interrupted a broken sleepf : disrupted by changeg of a tulip flower : having an irregular, streaked, or blotched pattern especially from virus infection
4a : cut off : disconnected spoke a few broken wordsb : 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
brokennessplay \-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 of broken from the Web
But even a broken clock is right twice a day, especially when that clock is brutally making fun of Paul Ryan.
When the broken system works in favor of the rich instead of the little guy, why not pilfer a little piece of the wreckage to help support your family?
These have been radically reshaped to adapt to three national economic sicknesses—a financial system that companies still mistrust after the crisis; a broken tax code; and monopoly profits.
The dog that was shot in the face suffered a broken jaw.
And the idea of breaking into someone else’s casual conversation with my broken Spanish is not appealing (read: horrifying).
The next year, that number fell to zero, even though one fight made the news after a student landed in the hospital with a broken jaw.
Sophomore D.K. Metcalf caught two touchdowns in a game-and-a-half before his season ended with a broken foot.
Martin Perez returns to the Rangers’ rotation Monday against the Red Sox with the help of a high-tech protective device to keep his broken right thumb safe inside his glove.
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.
Origin and Etymology of broken
Middle English, from Old English brocen, from past participle of brecan to break
First Known Use: 13th centurySee Words from the same year
BROKEN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of broken for English Language Learners
: separated into parts or pieces by being hit, damaged, etc.
: not working properly
: not kept or honored
BROKEN Defined for Kids
Definition of broken for Students
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
Medical Definition of broken
: having undergone or been subjected to fracture a broken leg
past part of break
Seen and Heard
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