Meaning of “broken” in the English Dictionary

"broken" in British English

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brokenverb

uk /ˈbrəʊ.kən/ us /ˈbroʊ.kən/

past participle of break

brokenadjective

uk /ˈbrəʊ.kən/ us /ˈbroʊ.kən/

broken adjective (DAMAGED)

A2 damaged, no longer able to work:

He attacked the man with a broken bottle.
My watch is broken.
Careful - there's broken glass on the floor.

[ before noun ] suffering emotional pain that is so strong that it changes the way you live, usually as a result of an unpleasant event:

He was a broken man after his wife died.

More examples

  • Never try to mend a broken machine without disconnecting it from the electricity supply.
  • He put a sheet of plastic over the broken window.
  • The shower is broken - you'll have to have a bath.
  • She had an X-ray to see if any of her ribs were broken.
  • Be careful - there's broken glass on the kitchen floor.

(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 of break

brokenadjective

us /ˈbroʊ·kən/

broken adjective (DAMAGED)

[ not gradable ] damaged, or no longer able to work:

My camera is broken.

broken adjective (INTERRUPTED)

interrupted or not continuous:

a broken line
He spoke very broken English.

broken adjective (DISCOURAGED)

extremely discouraged 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 longer live 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 /ˈbrəʊkən/ us

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 solid line 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)