- The definition of broken is split, out of order, or not continuous.
- An example of broken used as an adjective is the phrase "a broken home," which means a home where the father and mother are not living together.
- An example of broken used as an adjective is the phrase "broken watch," which means a watch that is not keeping accurate time.
A pile of broken cookies.
Origin of brokenMiddle English ; from Old English brocen, past participle of brecan, break
- split or cracked into pieces; splintered, fractured, burst, etc.
- not in working condition; out of order: a broken watch
- not kept or observed; violated: a broken promise
- disrupted, as by divorce: a broken home
- sick, weakened, or beaten: broken health, a broken spirit
- not even or continuous; interrupted: broken terrain, broken tones
- not complete: a broken set of Shakespeare's works
- imperfectly spoken, esp. with reference to grammar and syntax: broken English
- subdued and trained; tamed
- Informal demoted in rank
- Forcibly separated into two or more pieces; fractured: a broken arm; broken glass.
- Sundered by divorce, separation, or desertion of a parent or parents: children from broken homes; a broken marriage.
- Having been violated: a broken promise.
- a. Incomplete: a broken set of books.b. Being in a state of disarray; disordered: troops fleeing in broken ranks.
- a. Intermittently stopping and starting; discontinuous: a broken cable transmission.b. Varying abruptly, as in pitch: broken sobs.c. Spoken with gaps and errors: broken English.
- Topographically rough; uneven: broken terrain.
- a. Subdued totally; humbled: a broken spirit.b. Weakened and infirm: broken health.
- Crushed by grief: died of a broken heart.
- Financially ruined; bankrupt.
- Not functioning; out of order: a broken washing machine.
- past participle of break
(comparative more broken, superlative most broken)
- Fragmented, in separate pieces.
- (of a bone or body part) Fractured; having the bone in pieces.
- My arm is broken!
- the ground was littered with broken bones
- (of skin) Split or ruptured.
- A dog bit my leg and now the skin is broken.
- (of a line) Dashed, made up of short lines with small gaps between each one and the next.
- (of sleep) Interrupted; not continuous.
- (meteorology, of the sky) Five-eighths to seven-eighths obscured by clouds; incompletely covered by clouds.
- Tomorrow: broken skies.
- (of a bone or body part) Fractured; having the bone in pieces.
- (of a promise, etc) Breeched; violated; not kept.
- broken promises of neutrality, broken vows, the broken covenant
- Non-functional; not functioning properly.
- I think my doorbell broken.
- (of an electronic connection) Disconnected, no longer open or carrying traffic.
- (software, informal) Badly designed or implemented.
- This is the most broken application I've seen in a long time.
- (pejorative, of language) Grammatically non-standard, especially as a result of being a non-native speaker.
- (colloquial, US, of a situation) Not having gone in the way intended; saddening.
- Oh man! That is just broken!
- (of a person) Completely defeated and dispirited; shattered; destroyed.
- The bankruptcy and divorce, together with the death of his son, left him completely broken.
- Having no money; bankrupt, broke.
- (sports and gaming, of a tactic or option) Overpowered; overly powerful; too powerful.
- Nouns to which "broken" is often applied: glass, vase, cup, mirror, window, bone, wing, leg, arm, hand, foot, heart, egg, tool, sword, column, road, bridge, stick, device, machine, camera, TV, car, computer, promise, vow, law, trust, dream, relationship, friendship, love, family, marriage, bond, tie, silence, ground, land, circle, image, language, spirit, soul.
- (pejorative, politically incorrect) Torres Strait Creole.
Back-formation from broken English.
broken - Computer Definition
Not working properly. The term applies to software as well as hardware. If software is "broken," it means there is a bug in it. It may mean that people are having difficulty using it, because of poor design or cryptic error messages, in which case some parts of all software are "broken." See bug.
Variant of break
transitive verbbroke, broken, breaking
- to cause to come apart by force; split or crack sharply into pieces; smash; burst
- to cut open the surface of (soil, the skin, etc.)
- to fracture a bone of
- to cause the failure of by force or extralegal measures: to break a strike
- to make unusable or inoperative by cracking, disrupting, etc.
- to tame or make obedient with or as with force
- to cause to get rid (of a habit)
- to get rid of (a habit)
- to lower in rank or grade; demote
- to reduce to poverty or bankruptcy
- to ruin the chance for success of
- to wreck the health, spirit, etc. of
- to surpass (a record)
- to fail to follow the terms of (a law, promise, agreement, etc.); violate
- to open or enter by force: now chiefly in
- to escape from by force: to break prison
- to disrupt the order or completeness of; make irregular: the troops broke formation and ran
- to interrupt (a journey, electric circuit, etc.)
- to reduce the force of by interrupting (a fall, the wind, etc.)
- to bring to a sudden end: to break a tie
- to make or create (a path, way, etc.) as by removing obstructions
- to cut through or penetrate (silence, darkness, etc.)
- to make known; tell; disclose
- to decipher: to break a code
- to succeed in solving: to break a criminal case
- to make (a will) invalid by legal process
- to prove (an alibi) to be false
- to begin; open; start
- to exchange (a bill or coin) for smaller units
- to open (a rifle or shotgun) at the breech
- Tennis to win a game from (an opponent who is serving)
Origin of breakMiddle English breken ; from Old English brecan ; from Indo-European base an unverified form bhreg- from source breach, breech, German brechen, Classical Latin frangere
- to split into pieces; come apart; burst
- to scatter; disperse: to break and run
- to force one's way (through obstacles or resistance)
- to quarrel; stop associating (with)
- to become unusable or inoperative; go out of order
- to suffer a sudden fall in prices, financial condition, etc.
- to change suddenly, as by a sharp rise, fall, turn, shift, etc.: his voice broke; the hot spell broke
- to move away suddenly: the base runner broke for second
- to move apart, or withdraw, from a clinch in boxing
- ☆ to move into a gait other than the trot or pace required: said of a horse in harness racing
- to begin suddenly to utter, perform, etc.: with into, forth in, or out in: to break into song
- to come suddenly into being, evidence, or general knowledge: day was breaking; the story broke
- to appear suddenly above water, as a periscope, fish, etc.
- ☆ to stop activity temporarily: we broke for lunch
- to fall apart slowly; disintegrate
- to dash apart, as a wave on the shore
- to suffer a collapse of health, vitality, spirit, etc.
- to change into a diphthong: said of vowels
- ☆ to curve, dip, or rise near the plate: said of a pitched baseball
- ☆ to begin a game of pocket billiards with a break ()
- Informal to happen in a certain way: things were breaking badly
- a breaking open or apart; breach; fracture
- a breaking in, out, or forth
- ☆ a sudden move away or toward; rush; dash
- the result of a breaking; broken place; separation; crack
- a beginning or appearance: the break of day
- an interruption of a regular or continuous arrangement, action, etc.
- the result of this; a gap, interval, pause, omission, rest, etc.
- a breach in friendly relations
- a sudden change, as in weather
- ☆ an escape, as from prison
- ☆ a sudden lowering or drop, as of prices
- an imperfection; flaw
- an unbroken series or sequence, as of points in billiards
- ☆ the opening shot in a game of pocket billiards, in which the cue ball must come into contact with at least one ball in the rack; often, a shot that scatters the racked balls
- ☆ Basketball fast break
- a piece of luck, often specif. of good luck
- an advantage or opportunity
- exceptional or favorable treatment
- the point where one register changes to another
- the abrupt change in quality of a voice or instrument at this point
- in jazz, a brief, usually improvised passage by one band member who continues to play while the others stop
- a space between paragraphs
- the place at which a column or page of text stops, to be continued as on another column or page
- a point at which a word is divided, as at the end of a line
break a leg!☆
- to go out of working order
- to give way to tears or emotion
- to have a physical or nervous collapse
- to crush or overcome (opposition, etc.)
- to separate into parts; analyze
- to enter forcibly or unexpectedly
- to interrupt
- to train (a beginner)
- ☆ to prepare (something new) by use or wear
break in onor break in upon
- to intrude on
- to interrupt
- to stop abruptly, as in talking
- to stop being friendly or intimate
- to begin suddenly
- to escape suddenly
- to become covered with pimples or a rash
- Naut. to bring out of stowage for use: break out the foul weather gear
- Informal to bring out (anything) for use
- to separate; dispersealso, esp. as a command, break it up
- to take apart; dismantle and scrap
- to put a stop to
- Informal to end a relationship
- ☆ Informal to distress or upset greatly
- ☆ Informal to laugh or make laugh uncontrollably
give someone a break☆