• synonyms


[bangk-ruhpt-see, -ruh p-see]
See more synonyms for bankruptcy on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural bank·rupt·cies.
  1. the state of being or becoming bankrupt.
  2. utter ruin, failure, depletion, or the like.
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Origin of bankruptcy

First recorded in 1690–1700; bankrupt + -cy
Related formspre·bank·rupt·cy, noun, plural pre·bank·rupt·cies.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for bankruptcy

loss, liquidation, disaster, insolvency, default, failure, ruination, privation, nonpayment, destitution, ruin, lack, indigence, indebtedness, repudiation, exhaustion, defalcation, pauperism, overdraft

Examples from the Web for bankruptcy

Contemporary Examples of bankruptcy

Historical Examples of bankruptcy

  • 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.


    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for bankruptcy


noun plural -cies
  1. the state, condition, or quality of being or becoming bankrupt
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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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bankruptcy in Culture


Legally declared insolvency, or inability to pay creditors.

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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.


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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.