kaput

play
adjective ka·put \ kə-ˈpu̇t , 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 go
  • The engine suddenly went kaput.
3 :hopelessly outmoded

kaput was our Word of the Day on 11/09/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of kaput in a Sentence

  1. once the Germans were forced to retreat from Stalingrad, the Nazi cause was kaput

  2. hard-line Soviet-style Communism became kaput in Russia

Recent Examples of kaput from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of kaput

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



KAPUT Defined for English Language Learners

kaput

play
adjective

Definition of kaput for English Language Learners

  • : no longer working

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



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