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[bangk-ruhpt-see, -ruh p-see] /ˈbæŋk rʌpt si, -rəp si/
noun, plural bankruptcies.
the state of being or becoming bankrupt.
utter ruin, failure, depletion, or the like.
Origin of bankruptcy
First recorded in 1690-1700; bankrupt + -cy
Related forms
prebankruptcy, noun, plural prebankruptcies. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bankruptcy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • bankruptcy was not the only art by which Badman piled up his fortune.


    James Anthony Froude
  • “The era of religious influence closes in bankruptcy,” he informs us.

    Mountain Meditations L. Lind-af-Hageby
  • Her business was going to wreck, and bankruptcy seemed impending.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • It is only too true that your father stood on the verge of bankruptcy.

    The Crevice

    William John Burns and Isabel Ostrander
  • The bankruptcy proceedings had exhausted all the laughter there was in it.

    Chance Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for bankruptcy


/ˈbæŋkrʌptsɪ; -rəptsɪ/
noun (pl) -cies
the state, condition, or quality of being or becoming bankrupt
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bankruptcy

1700, from bankrupt, "probably on the analogy of insolvency, but with -t erroneously retained in spelling, instead of being merged in the suffix ...." [OED]. Figurative use from 1761.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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bankruptcy in Culture

bankruptcy definition

Legally declared insolvency, or inability to pay creditors.

Note: If an individual or a corporation declares bankruptcy, a court will appoint an official to make an inventory of the individual's or corporation's assets and to establish a schedule by which creditors can be partially repaid what is owed them.
Note: An individual who is lacking a specific resource or quality is sometimes said to be bankrupt, as in intellectually bankrupt or morally bankrupt.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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