Definition of kaput
- Their marriage is kaput.
- The refrigerator is kaput.
- The engine suddenly went kaput.
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once the Germans were forced to retreat from Stalingrad, the Nazi cause was kaput
hard-line Soviet-style Communism became kaput in Russia
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Kaput originated with a card game called piquet that has been popular in France for centuries. French players originally used the term "capot" to describe both big winners and big losers. To win all twelve tricks in a hand was called "faire capot" ("to make capot"), but to lose them all was known as "être capot" ("to be capot"). German speakers adopted "capot," but respelled it "kaputt," and used it only for losers. When English speakers borrowed the word from German, they started using "kaput" for things that were broken, useless, or destroyed.
First Known Use: 1895See Words from the same year
: no longer working
: no longer able to continue : completely ruined or defeated
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