from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Law A debtor that, upon voluntary petition or one invoked by the debtor's creditors, is judged legally insolvent. The debtor's remaining property is then administered for the creditors or is distributed among them.
  • n. A person who is totally lacking in a specified resource or quality: an intellectual bankrupt.
  • adj. Having been legally declared financially insolvent.
  • adj. Financially ruined; impoverished.
  • adj. Depleted of valuable qualities or characteristics: a morally and ethically bankrupt politician.
  • adj. Totally depleted; destitute: was bankrupt of new ideas.
  • adj. Being in a ruined state: a bankrupt foreign policy.
  • transitive v. To cause to become financially bankrupt.
  • transitive v. To ruin: an administration that bankrupted its credibility by seeking to manipulate the news.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. having been legally declared insolvent.
  • v. To force into bankruptcy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Being a bankrupt or in a condition of bankruptcy; unable to pay, or legally discharged from paying, one's debts.
  • adj. Depleted of money; not having the means of meeting pecuniary liabilities.
  • adj. Relating to bankrupts and bankruptcy.
  • adj. Destitute of, or wholly wanting (something once possessed, or something one should possess).
  • n. A trader who secretes himself, or does certain other acts tending to defraud his creditors.
  • n. A trader who becomes unable to pay his debts; an insolvent trader; popularly, any person who is unable to pay his debts; an insolvent person.
  • n. A person who, in accordance with the terms of a law relating to bankruptcy, has been judicially declared to be unable to meet his liabilities.
  • transitive v. To make bankrupt; to bring financial ruin upon; to impoverish.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The breaking up of a trader's business due to his inability to meet his obligations; bankruptcy.
  • n. An insolvent person whose property is administered for, and distributed among, his creditors in accordance with the provisions of a system of laws called bankrupt, bankruptcy, or insolvent laws.
  • n. In popular language, a hopelessly insolvent person; one who is notoriously unable to pay his debts; hence, one who is unable to satisfy just claims of any kind made upon him.
  • In the state of one who has committed an act of bankruptcy, or is insolvent; subject to or under legal process because of insolvency.
  • Unable to pay just debts, or to meet one's obligations; insolvent.
  • Figuratively, at the end of one's resources: as, to be bankrupt in thanks.
  • To make insolvent; render unable to meet just claims.
  • To reduce to beggary; exhaust the resources of.
  • To become bankrupt; fail or become insolvent.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. someone who has insufficient assets to cover their debts
  • adj. financially ruined
  • v. reduce to bankruptcy


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French banqueroute, from Italian banca rotta, broken counter (from the practice of breaking the counters of bankrupt bankers) : banca, moneychanger's table; see banco + rotta, past participle of rompere, to break (from Latin rumpere.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Italian banca rotta, which refers to an out-of-business bank, having its bench physically broken. When a moneylender in Northern Italy would become insolvent, they would break the bench they worked from to signify that they were no longer in business.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.