flat broke

Also, stone or stony broke. Completely penniless. For example, I can't help you—I'm flat broke, or He's stone broke again. The first term dates from the mid-1800s and uses flat in the sense of “completely” or “downright.” The variant dates from the late 1800s.

Words Nearby flat broke

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

How to use flat broke in a sentence

  • Within six months he was flat broke and on the verge of being disbarred.

  • Hungerford used to pay him, but now that he is flat broke and can't help no more, he won't give him a cent.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter | Joseph C. Lincoln
  • He was broke, flat broke, about the time I was elected and suddenly he had all the money he required.

    Spring Street | James H. Richardson
  • Yer flat broke, an' need coin, an' I'm takin' at yer own word—thet ye don't care overly much how ye git it.

    The Devil's Own | Randall Parrish
  • I let him know you needed work, but I didn't tip my hand you was flat broke.

    The Easiest Way | Eugene Walter and Arthur Hornblow