ka·​put | \ kə-ˈpu̇t How to pronounce kaput (audio) , kä-, -ˈpüt \
variants: or less commonly kaputt

Definition of kaput

1 : utterly finished, defeated, or destroyed Their marriage is kaput.
2 : unable to function The refrigerator is kaput. often used with goThe engine suddenly went kaput.
3 : hopelessly outmoded

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Did You Know?

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.

Examples of kaput in a Sentence

once the Germans were forced to retreat from Stalingrad, the Nazi cause was kaput hard-line Soviet-style Communism became kaput in Russia
Recent Examples on the Web The Stooges are now functionally kaput—of the original lineup, only Pop is left. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, "The Survival of Iggy Pop," 26 Aug. 2019 At least not on Sunday afternoon, nearly a full two days after the Clippers were supposed to be done, finished, as kaput as the Kings – those in Sacramento and Los Angeles. Jeff Miller, Orange County Register, "Miller: Clipper-proof Game 7 to conclude lunacy with Jazz," 29 Apr. 2017 The damages for that less-than-brilliant marketing idea could be as much as $120 million, meaning the company as a whole is pretty much financially kaput. Susan Arendt, WIRED, "Computer Games Magazine, Massive Close Doors," 14 Mar. 2007

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kaput.' 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 kaput

1895, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for kaput

German kaputt, from French capot not having made a trick at piquet

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Time Traveler for kaput

Time Traveler

The first known use of kaput was in 1895

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Cite this Entry

“Kaput.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kaput. Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for kaput


How to pronounce kaput (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of kaput

: no longer working
: no longer able to continue : completely ruined or defeated

More from Merriam-Webster on kaput

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kaput

Britannica English: Translation of kaput for Arabic Speakers

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