Meaning of BROKEN in English


I. ˈbrōkən sometimes -k ə ŋ adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English brocen, from past participle of brecan to break

1. : violently separated into parts : in a state resulting from breaking : in fragments : shattered

a vase broken by a fall

broken bits of glass

2. : damaged or altered by or as if by breaking: as

a. of body parts : fractured, ruptured

a broken leg

often : having the surface interrupted or flawed (as by a cut or blow)

there'll be more than one broken head before morning

b. obsolete : torn , rent — used chiefly of fabrics

c. of land or land surfaces : rough and irregular, interrupted (as by cliffs and ravines), or full of obstacles to passage (as rocks, ledges, or gullies)

a broken country full of springs and streams

a long broken ridge

d. : violated by transgression : with integrity destroyed

a broken promise

e. : made discontinuous or altered in direction (as by bending or refraction)

the broken antennae of most weevils

light rays broken by a prism

sometimes : zigzag

following a broken course

f. : interrupted , discontinuous

a broken sleep

the broken pattern of his thoughts

g. of weather : unsettled ; also of clouds : overspreading much but not all of the sky

h. : disrupted by change

a home broken by sickness

i. of a plant or flower : affected with break

a broken tulip

j. of cream : separating into large aggregates when shaken due to the action of certain bacteria

k. of an animal's coat : molting

3. : reduced in condition: as

a. : made weak or infirm (as by disease, age, or hardships)

b. : subdued , crushed

a broken spirit

c. : ruined financially : bankrupt

d. : made submissive : trained for use

a well- broken horse

e. : cashiered or reduced in rank

he was broken from sergeant to private

: ruined officially or professionally

his career was broken by the scandal

f. Scotland : declared an outlaw

apprehend all such freebooters and broken men

4. : disconnected : not continuous: as

a. : uttered hesitantly and disjointedly on account of emotion

a few broken words at parting

b. : imperfectly spoken or written especially by a foreigner

broken English


a. archaic : forming or consisting of remnants or leavings especially when fragmentary

broken beer

broken meats

b. : not complete

a broken line of goods

or completely full

a broken bale of wool

often : containing fewer than the standard number of sheets or boards but not necessarily of poor quality

as broken ream

a broken bundle

a broken carton

6. of paper : of uneven quality (as when soiled or spotted more than retree)


a. of a color : dulled by an admixture of gray : saddened ; also : produced by blending of primary colors

b. of color effects in painting : produced by laying component color elements side by side on canvas or other surface so that at a distance they appear to blend

c. : consisting of two usually discrete colors — used chiefly of animal eyes and coats

a broken red and black coat

8. of a vowel sound : diphthongized by breaking

9. of a twill weave : having the diagonal lines reversed at regular intervals to produce a zigzag effect — compare herringbone

10. of a noun plural in Arabic : distinguished from the singular by a difference in vowel sounds

II. noun

( -s )

: broke 3 — used chiefly in paper mills

III. adjective

: disunited by divorce, separation, or the desertion of one parent

broken homes

a broken family

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.