past participle of break.
reduced to fragments; fragmented.
ruptured; torn; fractured.
not functioning properly; out of working order.
Meteorology. (of sky cover) being more than half, but not totally, covered by clouds.: Compare scattered (def. 4).
changing direction abruptly: The fox ran in a broken line.
fragmentary or incomplete: a broken ton of coal weighing 1,500 pounds.
infringed or violated: A broken promise is a betrayal of trust.
interrupted, disrupted, or disconnected: After the phone call he returned to his broken sleep.
weakened in strength, spirit, etc.: His broken health was due to alcoholism.
tamed, trained, or reduced to submission: The horse was broken to the saddle.
imperfectly spoken, as language: She still speaks broken English.
spoken in a halting or fragmentary manner, as under emotional strain: He uttered a few broken words of sorrow.
(of a relationship) split apart; not intact: a broken marriage.
(of a family) disunited or divided by the prolonged or permanent absence of a parent, usually due to divorce or desertion: a child from a broken home; broken families.
not smooth; rough or irregular: We left the plains and rode through broken country.
ruined; bankrupt: the broken fortunes of his family.
Papermaking, Printing. a quantity of paper of less than 500 or 1000 sheets.
- bro·ken·ly, adverb
- bro·ken·ness, noun
- half-broken, adjective
- well-broken, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use broken in a sentence
Shoppers may prefer pristine surroundings, but cracked walls and broken windows tell more compelling stories.In the galleries: The Washington colorists and the CIA | Mark Jenkins | November 20, 2020 | Washington Post
Over the next few years, working on both sides of the Atlantic, Jerolmack and the rest of the team started plotting where real examples of broken rocks fell within Domokos’ framework.Scientists Uncover the Universal Geometry of Geology | Joshua Sokol | November 19, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
Josh Elman, the famous tech investor, complained about a broken dryer back in April, and asked the Twitter hive mind whether he should get a new one or go through the pain of fixing it.Nana nabs $6M for an online academy and marketplace dedicated to appliance repair | Ingrid Lunden | November 12, 2020 | TechCrunch
For a team trying to win a broken NFC East and figure out who will be its quarterback for the next few years, he is an unknown.Alex Smith is the NFL’s best story, but Washington’s next few weeks are about Dwayne Haskins | Les Carpenter | November 11, 2020 | Washington Post
Grievous errors in the line of duty were laced with empathy for a broken officer.‘S.W.A.T.’ and other cop dramas are trying to tackle race. They could take a page from ‘This Is Us.’ | Hank Stuever | November 10, 2020 | Washington Post
And yet, her own brokenness over her failures is written in such a way that the audience is implicated in them.The Feminist Aesthetic of ‘Happy Valley’: A Refusal to Eroticize Violence Against Women | Batya Ungar-Sargon | August 31, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The brokenness of the political system drives the former, and helplessness drives the latter.
There is a brokenness in the utterance which makes it difficult to translate, but which is touchingly natural.Expositor's Bible: The Gospel of Matthew | John Monro Gibson
The foolishness would not be so noticeable if the Brokenness were not so hideous and genuine and actual and matter-of-course.I, Mary MacLane | Mary MacLane
Conscious weakness, as a preparation for service, is one thing: brokenness is another.Parables of the Christ-life | I. Lilias Trotter
Our brokenness and openness must be two-way, horizontal as well as vertical, with one another as with God.The Calvary Road | Roy Hession
In order to break our wills to His, God brings us to the foot of the Cross and there shows us what real brokenness is.The Calvary Road | Roy Hession
British Dictionary definitions for broken
the past participle of break
fractured, smashed, or splintered: a broken vase
imperfect or incomplete; fragmentary: a broken set of books
interrupted; disturbed; disconnected: broken sleep
intermittent or discontinuous: broken sunshine
varying in direction or intensity, as of pitch: a broken note; a broken run
not functioning: a broken radio
spoilt or ruined by divorce (esp in the phrases broken home, broken marriage)
(of a trust, promise, contract, etc) violated; infringed
overcome with grief or disappointment: a broken heart
(of the speech of a foreigner) imperfect in grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation: broken English
Also: broken-in made tame or disciplined by training: a broken horse; a broken recruit
exhausted or weakened as through ill-health or misfortune
confused or disorganized: broken ranks of soldiers
breached or opened: broken defensive lines
irregular or rough; uneven: broken ground
bankrupt or out of money: a broken industry
(of colour) having a multicoloured decorative effect, as by stippling paint onto a surface
Southern African informal drunk
- brokenly, adverb
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