Word of the Day : June 26, 2018

kaput

play
adjective kuh-PUT

Definition

1 : utterly finished, defeated, or destroyed

2 : unable to function : useless

3 : hopelessly outmoded

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 in piquet. 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

"Sure, there are still top-billed behemoths capable of guaranteeing a strong opening, like Dwayne Johnson and Leonardo DiCaprio, but for the most part, the idea of a box office movie star is kaput." — Brandon Katz, The Observer, 19 May 2018

"Whether a jagged maw of grinning shark teeth, or a perpetually surprised oval, the automobile grille serves a very important function: it allows air to flow in, cooling the radiator and generally keeping the engine from overheating and going kaput." — Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, 1 Apr. 2018



Test Your Vocabulary

What word begins with "r" and can be used as an adjective meaning "odd" or as a noun for a drunkard or a card game?

VIEW THE ANSWER

Podcast


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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