broken Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “broken” in the English Dictionary

"broken" in British English

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brokenverb

uk   /ˈbrəʊ.kən/  us   /ˈbroʊ-/
past participle ofbreak

brokenadjective

uk   /ˈbrəʊ.kən/  us   /ˈbroʊ-/
  • broken adjective (DAMAGED)

A2 damaged, no ​longerable to ​work: He ​attacked the man with a broken ​bottle. My ​watch is broken. Careful - there's broken glass on the ​floor. [before noun] sufferingemotionalpain that is so ​strong that it ​changes the way you ​live, usually as a ​result of an ​unpleasantevent: He was a broken man after his ​wifedied.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • broken adjective (ENDED)

C2 destroyed or ​ended: a broken ​engagement She comes from a broken home (= one where the ​parents have ​separated).
  • broken adjective (NOT KEPT)

(of a ​law, ​rule, or ​promise) not ​obeyed or not ​kept: a broken ​promise
(Definition of broken from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"broken" in American English

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broken

 us   /ˈbroʊ·kən/
  • broken (BREAK)

past participle ofbreak

brokenadjective

 us   /ˈbroʊ·kən/
  • broken adjective (DAMAGED)

[not gradable] damaged, or no ​longerable to ​work: My ​camera is broken.
  • broken adjective (INTERRUPTED)

interrupted or not ​continuous: a broken ​line He ​spoke very broken ​English.
  • broken adjective (DISCOURAGED)

extremelydiscouraged or ​sad: After his wife's ​death, he ​seemed to be a broken man. My ​mom said my ​uncle had a broken ​heart (= was ​sad because a ​romance had ​ended).
  • broken adjective (ENDED)

[not gradable] destroyed or ​ended: He ​overcame a ​string of broken ​dreams to ​become a ​success. She comes from a broken ​home (= the ​parents no ​longerlive together).
  • broken adjective (NOT KEPT)

[not gradable] (of a ​law, ​rule, or ​promise) ​disobeyed or not ​kept: a broken ​promise
(Definition of broken from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"broken" in Business English

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brokenadjective

uk   us   /ˈbrəʊkən/
damaged, and no ​longer able to ​work: We can ​send the broken ​monitors for ​repair. Everywhere you ​look there are broken pipes and crumbling masonry.
interrupted or not continuous: On the ​chart, ​income is ​indicated by a ​solidline and ​expenses by a broken ​line.
used to describe a ​law, ​rule, or promise that is not obeyed or not ​kept: a broken promise a broken ​contract
(Definition of broken from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“broken” in Business English

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