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

  • v. Past participle of break.
  • adj. Forcibly separated into two or more pieces; fractured: a broken arm; broken glass.
  • adj. Sundered by divorce, separation, or desertion of a parent or parents: children from broken homes; a broken marriage.
  • adj. Having been violated: a broken promise.
  • adj. Incomplete: a broken set of books.
  • adj. Being in a state of disarray; disordered: troops fleeing in broken ranks.
  • adj. Intermittently stopping and starting; discontinuous: a broken cable transmission.
  • adj. Varying abruptly, as in pitch: broken sobs.
  • adj. Spoken with gaps and errors: broken English.
  • adj. Topographically rough; uneven: broken terrain.
  • adj. Subdued totally; humbled: a broken spirit.
  • adj. Weakened and infirm: broken health.
  • adj. Crushed by grief: died of a broken heart.
  • adj. Financially ruined; bankrupt.
  • adj. Not functioning; out of order: a broken washing machine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Past participle of break
  • adj. Fragmented, in separate pieces.
  • adj. Having the bone in pieces, fractured.
  • adj. Dashed, made up of short lines with small gaps between each one and the next.
  • adj. Split or ruptured.
  • adj. Not working properly.
  • adj. Completely defeated and dispirited.
  • adj. Grammatically non-standard, especially as a result of being a non-native speaker.
  • adj. Having no money, bankrupt, broke.
  • adj. Disconnected, no longer open or carrying traffic.
  • adj. Badly designed or implemented.
  • adj. Five-eighths to seven-eighths obscured by clouds.
  • adj. overpowered
  • adj. Not having gone in the way intended; saddening.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Separated into parts or pieces by violence; divided into fragments.
  • adj. Disconnected; not continuous; also, rough; uneven.
  • adj. Fractured; cracked; disunited; sundered; strained; apart.
  • adj. Made infirm or weak, by disease, age, or hardships.
  • adj. Subdued; humbled; contrite.
  • adj. Subjugated; trained for use, as a horse.
  • adj. Crushed and ruined as by something that destroys hope; blighted.
  • adj. Not carried into effect; not adhered to; violated.
  • adj. Ruined financially; incapable of redeeming promises made, or of paying debts incurred.
  • adj. Imperfectly spoken, as by a foreigner; ; imperfectly spoken on account of emotion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not integral or entire; fractional: opposed to round, as applied to numbers.
  • Rough; intersected with hills and valleys or ravines: applied to the surface of a country or district.
  • Bankrupt.
  • Imperfect; ungrammatical; wanting in fluency or correctness of pronunciation: as, broken French.
  • In heraldry, depicted as having been forcibly torn off, leaving the end shivered or splintered.
  • In entomology, abruptly bent at an angle; geniculate: said specifically of antennæ in which the terminal portion forms an angle with the long basal joint.—
  • an unprofitable voyage, or a losing voyage.

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

  • adj. thrown into a state of disarray or confusion
  • adj. tamed or trained to obey
  • adj. weakened and infirm
  • adj. out of working order (`busted' is an informal substitute for `broken')
  • adj. destroyed financially
  • adj. discontinuous
  • adj. topographically very uneven
  • adj. not continuous in space, time, or sequence or varying abruptly
  • adj. imperfectly spoken or written
  • adj. (especially of promises or contracts) having been violated or disregarded
  • adj. lacking a part or parts
  • adj. subdued or brought low in condition or status
  • adj. physically and forcibly separated into pieces or cracked or split


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Not, only was the iron and the clay broken by the impact, but "the iron, the clay, _the brass, the silver, and the gold_" were "_broken to pieces_ TOGETHER, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors" (verse 35).

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  • "Out of this," says Mr. Wilson, "we coined the phrase 'broken windows,' suggesting public order is a fragile thing, and if you don't fix the first broken window, soon all the windows will be broken."

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  • Mr. Wilson is most famous for the phrase "broken windows," but he is quick to point out that it didn't originate with him.

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  • Yes, you know the term broken heart, heartache, all those sorts of terms may have new meaning as doctors try and figure out what exactly is happening inside the body when we're under extreme stress.

    CNN Transcript Feb 11, 2005

  • After standing some time, the cheese is taken out of the vat, and laid on a large cheese-cloth, and the curd again broken from the top down the centre, and more salt mixed with it; after which it is pressed into the vat by the hand as before, and weights are again put upon it, while skewers are run through holes purposely left in the vat, into the sides of the cheese, as before.

    The Lady's Country Companion: or, How to Enjoy a Country Life Rationally

  • Most firms or individuals issuing such currency went "broke," therefore the term broken bank note. TravelStream™ — Recent Entries at

  • Now when I hear the term broken and fixable in terms of a market, it tells me that there is some type of market failure - a market failure that can be solved through government intervention.


  • Obama went to El Paso, Texas, Tuesday to challenge lawmakers to reform what he called a "broken" immigration system, saying better laws would lessen the numbers of people attempting to work in the U.S. illegally.

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  • ABACA USA Mr. Cameron faces many obstacles in turning round what he described as "broken Britain"—including his government's cuts to police forces, and divisions between the police and government that have erupted since the unrest.

    U.K. Leader Blames Riots on 'Moral Collapse'

  • House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have written an op-ed for The Cincinnati Enquirer, outlining what they call broken promises in the law.

    Anti-abortion Democrat stands by health care law


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