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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Technicians took the machine apart, isolated the broken part, and found a potentially easy fix; a power port. Tik Root, Vox, "Apple effectively has a monopoly on fixing your iPhone. There’s now a fight to change that.," 3 July 2019 Stanley Forman’s 1975 photograph of 19-year-old Diana Bryant and her 2-year-old goddaughter Tiare Jones falling from a broken fire escape during a fire in Boston that prompted officials in Massachusetts to pass new laws on fire-safety. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "In news, when words fail, graphic and shocking photos often don't," 2 July 2019 Mykhailiuk also suffered a broken finger late in the season. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "First impression of Pistons draft pick Sekou Doumbouya: 'He's strong'," 2 July 2019 The guy was out there with a broken nose throwing 98. Tom Verducci, SI.com, "The Rare Greatness of Max Scherzer Has Never Been More Evident," 1 July 2019 These cases involve things like broken furnaces and disputes over deposits. Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star, "Here are the top 6 complaints to IndyStar Call for Action. You may be surprised by some.," 1 July 2019 Lorene Fallon, 51, suffering from a badly broken ankle. oregonlive.com, "Multnomah County Sheriff’s deputy injured in hit-and-run crash," 30 June 2019 Sadowski suffered a broken knee cap and metal hardware was placed in her knee. Kevin Grasha, Cincinnati.com, "Woman who tripped on collapsed 'wet floor' sign at Jack Casino awarded $3 million by jury," 29 June 2019 And no, enabling students to attend a school that best meets their needs has not broken democracy anywhere it’s been tried. Krista Kafer, The Denver Post, "Kafer: DeVos protesters should have studied up on school choice before denouncing it," 28 June 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about broken

Statistics for broken

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for broken

The first known use of broken was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

broken

Legal Definition of broken

past participle of break

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!