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

And my left side is asking for directions from a broken GPS. Ariel Henley, Allure, "How Fashion Lets Me Embrace the Physical Differences Caused by Crouzon Syndrome," 12 Mar. 2019 Blooms from the ranunculus, some from daffodils, an anemone dyed salmon and a broken stem of a blue delphinium pick up the colors and bigger shapes. Lindsey Taylor, WSJ, "A Slightly Surreal Floral Arrangement Inspired by Joan Miró," 22 Feb. 2019 The tough post-slavery life made a heart too broken to love openly. Joelle Monique, Teen Vogue, ""If Beale Street Could Talk" Highlights the Power of Love in a World Designed for Black People to Fail," 9 Jan. 2019 Arguably, Marvel Studios' biggest surprise of the year came in the form of Ant Man and the Wasp, a film the studio sorely needed after Infinity War's combination of feeling too long, too short, and too logically broken. Sam Machkovech And Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Films for the discerning nerd: Ars picks the best of 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 Across the country, bakers were finding that their Hershey’s Kisses had uniformly broken tips. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "2018 was a difficult year for cookies," 21 Dec. 2018 Of course, Ari has has a tough several months, dealing with the Manchester attack, the death of her ex Mac Miller, and a broken engagement. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Ariana Grande Got Super Emotional in Her First Speech Post Split with Pete Davidson," 7 Dec. 2018 And my left side is asking for directions from a broken GPS. Ilana Kaplan, Allure, "Selma Blair Reveals She Has Multiple Sclerosis in Heartfelt Post," 22 Oct. 2018 Up until that point, Hudson’s most serious injury had been a broken wrist from falling off the monkey bars at Back to School Night. Kerry Cromwell, Good Housekeeping, "My Little Boy Was Just 7 Years Old When He Had a Catastrophic Stroke," 26 July 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

16 Mar 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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to corrupt or become corrupted

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