[ brohk ]
/ broʊk /



without money; penniless.


Papermaking. paper unfit for sale; paper that is to be repulped.
brokes, wool of poor quality taken from the neck and belly of sheep.

Nearby words

  1. broil,
  2. broiler,
  3. broiler house,
  4. broiling,
  5. brokage,
  6. broken,
  7. broken arrow,
  8. broken coal,
  9. broken consort,
  10. broken field


    go broke,
    1. to become destitute of money or possessions.
    2. to go bankrupt: In that business people are forever going broke.
    go for broke, to exert oneself or employ one's resources to the utmost.

Origin of broke

1655–65 (adj.); 1875–80 (noun) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for go broke


/ (brəʊk) /


the past tense of break


informal having no money; bankrupt
go for broke slang to risk everything in a gambling or other venture
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 go broke



past tense and obsolete past participle of break (v.); extension to "insolvent" is first recorded 1716 (broken in this sense is attested from 1590s). Old English cognate broc meant, in addition to "that which breaks," "affliction, misery."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with go broke

go broke

Also, go bust. Undergo financial collapse, lose most or all of one's money. For example, The company's about to go broke, or The producer of that movie went bust. The first expression dates from the mid-1600s; the second, slangier variant dates from the mid-1800s.


see flat broke; go broke; go for (broke); if it ain't broke don't fix it. Also see under break.

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