broken

adjective
bro·​ken | \ ˈbrō-kən How to pronounce broken (audio) \

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 How to pronounce brokenness (audio) \ 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

Police and fire chiefs in Broward County have voted to yank responsibility for emergency radio communications from Broward County, after the county’s failure to fix a broken system that impeded the response to the Parkland school shooting. David Fleshler, sun-sentinel.com, "Police and fire chiefs call for removing radio system from county after Parkland failure," 5 June 2019 For decades, the biggest symbol of this Midwestern city’s decline was the vacant Studebaker plant at one end of the city with its broken windows. Kris Maher, WSJ, "Pete Buttigieg Launches Presidential Bid in South Bend," 14 Apr. 2019 Even one broken window would draw unfavorable media attention. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "What Are Airports Going to Do About Drones?," 9 Jan. 2019 Images posted by opposition lawmaker Bryan Kramer on social media showed broken windows, smashed furniture, pictures torn from walls and plants tipped over. Ciaran Mcquillan, The Seattle Times, "Police storm Papua New Guinea Parliament for APEC summit pay," 20 Nov. 2018 Ashly had been a first-grader at the dilapidated single-story structure, with broken windows, cracks in the walls and holes in the roof. Patrick J. Mcdonnell, latimes.com, "'What if I lose her forever?' In Guatemala, a couple fears for their child still in detention in U.S.," 10 July 2018 The two houses on either side of the home had some broken windows and damaged siding. Alex Park, Houston Chronicle, "Fire officials investigating house explosion in Houston's Second Ward," 29 June 2018 One building had an open, broken window with no apparent attempt to board it up or fix it. Paul Brinkmann, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Metrowest condos rack up $3.5M in fines for construction defects," 24 May 2018 According to police, the Western Addition incident began around 1 a.m. May 11, when two officers spotted Hale and 23-year-old Brentwood resident Maurice Jones walking away from a broken car window at Steiner Street and Geary Boulevard. Evan Sernoffsky, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco officer’s shots at moving vehicle rekindle tense debate," 22 May 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

8 Jun 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 How to pronounce broken (audio) \

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 How to pronounce broken (audio) \

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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