[ bangk-ruhpt-see, -ruhp-see ]
See synonyms for bankruptcy on
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

Other words from bankruptcy

  • pre·bank·rupt·cy, noun, plural pre·bank·rupt·cies.

Words Nearby bankruptcy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use bankruptcy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bankruptcy


/ (ˈbæŋkrʌptsɪ, -rəptsɪ) /

nounplural -cies
  1. 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

Cultural definitions for bankruptcy


Legally declared insolvency, or inability to pay creditors.

Notes for bankruptcy

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.

Notes for bankruptcy

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.