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

One has been yellow-tagged, and several houses are covered in broken glass and have lost power. Los Angeles Times, "Fatal gas line explosion in Murrieta a warning for home contractors," 16 July 2019 Yeah, and that’s because our asylum laws are so broken and abused now. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "Ari Fleischer on Why Former Republican Critics of Trump Now Embrace Him," 9 July 2019 Within three hours of leaving in an ambulance, though, Jones had somehow broken free of his GPS monitoring unit. Ryan Martin, Indianapolis Star, "He escaped federal custody and then killed an Indianapolis DJ, police say," 28 June 2019 On Friday, Thiem had just broken Djokovic to go up a break at 3-1 in the third set when their match was suspended because of a shower. Washington Post, "Djokovic Slam run ends at French; Thiem vs. Nadal in final," 9 June 2019 And, finally Hate to broken-record this, but are the Padres doubling down on stubborn by keeping Luis Urias in the Pacific Coast League? San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: What’s up with Padres? Thoughts on Tatis, possible Yates trade & more," 7 June 2019 Hunt was so broken at the time, no one was sure anyone would get through to him, least of all the second-choice dog, Hunt recalled. Michelle L. Quinn, Post-Tribune, "With the help of friends, Iraq war veteran gets motorcycle sidecar for service dog," 5 June 2019 The senator, even with her accident (an X-ray shows the toes are not broken), seems unfazed. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Personable, Popular, Pragmatic: Is Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar the Democrat’s Secret Weapon?," 15 Jan. 2019 Two of these updates, KB2863821 and KB4461522, both for Office 2010, are apparently very broken, causing application crashes. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Now it’s Office’s turn to have a load of patches pulled," 20 Nov. 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

20 Jul 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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