Definition of broken in English:

broken

verb

adjective

  • 1Having been broken.

    ‘he had a broken arm’
    • ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a leaky tire.’
    • ‘He suffered a broken arm, broken ribs and wounds to his head and upper body and was taken to Waterford Regional Hospital.’
    • ‘Last month's dispatches from the olive groves report internationals with broken ribs, broken arms and other injuries.’
    • ‘We know she suffered a wound to her head as well as a broken arm, and broken legs, and a spinal injury, and her physical pain was clearly reflected in her strained smile.’
    • ‘There's no quick or easy way to clean up a broken bottle of maple syrup.’
    • ‘A week in a coma and three months in hospital were about right for his fractured skull and pelvis, broken leg, arm and collarbone.’
    • ‘Joey was taken to the hospital with a broken arm and some bruises.’
    • ‘The Three Horseshoes Mall has seen an increase in crime including broken drainpipes, smashed bottles and graffiti daubed on shop windows.’
    • ‘Anne still had no money, no good job prospects, poor health, broken plumbing, and three scarred kids.’
    • ‘Left in a building, Isa crawled through a broken fan vent at 3 am and ran for help.’
    • ‘Playgrounds in Iqaluit are great, but I'm worried about the safety because they're always broken.’
    • ‘Accidents may be inevitable in such a risk-taking environment, but the worst that has happened in three years is two broken arms and one broken leg.’
    • ‘And he'd collapse in sobs as his broken leg and arm twitch in painful spasms from the sudden movement.’
    • ‘If a tooth has been broken, or weakened by a lot of decay or a large filling, a crown can be fitted to strengthen it.’
    • ‘Arming myself with some broken furniture I crept back downstairs.’
    • ‘About 750 of its residents are homeless, and many are sick, some with broken bones.’
    • ‘The council has revealed potential health hazards, like broken rails and track wear and tear, have led to the closure.’
    • ‘Everyone survived but the poor girl has her arm broken and several stitches.’
    • ‘When I told her the name of the backpacker hostel, where I had a stuffy room with a broken fan, she immediately suggested we go there.’
    • ‘He suffered two broken legs, two broken arms, a broken collarbone and head injuries in the accident which happened in Bullar Road, Bitterne.’
    smashed, shattered, burst, fragmented, splintered, shivered, crushed, snapped, rent, torn, ruptured, separated, severed, in bits, in pieces
    fractured, damaged, injured, maimed, crippled, lame
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    1. 1.1 (of a marriage or other long-term relationship) having ended.
      • ‘The last month had been hell for both of us with broken relationships to deal with on top of finals to complete.’
      • ‘Also, Frank's broken relationship with Brenda leaves something to be desired in the way of resolution.’
      • ‘Saying that you are sorry and meaning it is the first step to healing a broken relationship.’
      • ‘How does one deal with the pain of broken relationships, especially if the breakup was not by mutual agreement?’
      • ‘Jennifer Lopez has blamed her plethora of broken relationships on her fear of being alone.’
      • ‘Many of our clients have this view of life, they have a history of broken relationships, either with their parents or their girl friends/wives.’
      • ‘A broken relationship with a boyfriend dealt a serious blow to her confidence and again was made out to be a major catastrophe.’
      • ‘She wanted to start re-establishing her broken relationship with her sister.’
      • ‘They tell of a sad trip through a winter landscape away from a broken love-affair.’
      • ‘It is often not easy to mend a broken relationship in a women's group.’
      • ‘Kelly, had a broken relationship that causing was her a great deal of distress.’
      • ‘Maggie is fleeing a broken relationship when she encounters a teenage girl on the train.’
      failed, ended
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  • 2(of a person) having given up all hope; despairing.

    ‘he went to his grave a broken man’
    • ‘About an hour and a half later, I was a broken woman.’
    • ‘Tom Fitzpatrick, defending, said Turner was a broken man.’
    • ‘As he shuffled into court, his hands and legs chained, Nick du Toit looked a broken man.’
    • ‘The accident has left her a broken woman and an inadequate mother to their young daughter, Ruthie.’
    • ‘Lorry driver Kevin Callan died a broken man at the age of 45.’
    • ‘Mary was one of those broken people, a life thwarted from what it could be.’
    • ‘We are, many of us, aware that we're not perfect, that we are in fact broken people.’
    • ‘He died a broken man and was buried only a couple of miles away from his birthplace.’
    • ‘This is the story of how a broken person forms his identity and forges his armour.’
    • ‘They were all looking at him, every one of the kids, as they saw what a broken person he had become.’
    • ‘These broken people who may never have the chance to lead normal and fruitful lives are not completely in despair.’
    • ‘But he then appeared quite a broken person as he was led away, didn't say any further words.’
    • ‘Yet the notion of Clinton as a broken man is one with which he will have no truck.’
    • ‘As the contemporary story begins it's that broken kid, Dave, we first focus on, now a damaged adult.’
    • ‘In the end the brave man who survived the Normandy landings had to admit defeat and it left him a broken man.’
    • ‘Johnny Bonner is one of the broken people of the world but he's kept alive by being part of a river of song, and he needs to share it.’
    • ‘A broken man, Sheriff flees into exile on an oil tanker and declares himself a refugee when the ship reaches international waters.’
    • ‘From then on, the Eagles looked a broken team, worn down by the heat of the day and the determined efforts of the Knights to match their powerful pack.’
    • ‘Mr Crowe is compelling as the broken scientist with a heavy conscience.’
    • ‘There is something more remarkable still, for the Lord has a response to these broken people.’
    defeated, beaten, vanquished, overpowered, overwhelmed, subdued
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  • 3Having breaks or gaps in continuity.

    ‘a broken white line across the road’
    • ‘Because the weather is continuing in such a broken fashion, it will mean delays of up to five or six weeks for most farmers.’
    • ‘Data points for control plants are joined by broken lines for clarity.’
    • ‘A broken white line meant to divide the street into lanes inexplicably bends, crossing it.’
    • ‘The broken line has arrows pointing to both B and C; this indicates that the similarity relation may also go in both ways.’
    • ‘They have yellow eyes and facial disks that are mostly white, edged with broken black rings.’
    • ‘Fourteen dancers explored intricate movement and gestures, broken lines and dissected flows.’
    • ‘Do you see the arrow points to a broken line, and adjacent to the broken line is the letter.’
    • ‘Most of the Mfengu designs of that period were lozenges, broken lines, triangles, and stripes.’
    • ‘The broken continuity can be explained in terms of Marxist value theory.’
    • ‘Instead, he makes allusions to history and social realities through bold, broken lines.’
    • ‘The results from both are given in the graphs as separate curves in broken lines and they are quite similar.’
    • ‘Witness Mr Fogarty an engineer agreed with this, stating that it was not a good place to overtake and that the broken white line was misleading.’
    • ‘A bright, vermilion ground has been almost obliterated by some 17 rectangles meeting on broken lines.’
    • ‘High above the building rooftop across the alley birds flew a broken black line in blue night sky.’
    • ‘The broken lines represent limiting values based on data of Burton.’
    • ‘Whilst considering the other end of the road I have noticed that at the roundabout there you find broken lines crossing the carriageway at an oblique angle.’
    • ‘What is shown is a broken line whose starting and ending points are denoted by the same letter.’
    • ‘I felt I was there for a reason: to finally connect two ends of a long broken line.’
    • ‘If the area is bordered by a broken white line, you should not enter the area unless it is necessary and you can see that it is safe to do so.’
    • ‘What is the point of painting double parallel, barred white lines down the middle of the road, when a single broken white line has told us for years where the middle of the road is?’
    interrupted, disturbed, fitful, disrupted, disconnected, discontinuous, fragmentary, intermittent, unsettled, sporadic, spasmodic, erratic, troubled, incomplete
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    1. 3.1 (of a language) spoken falteringly and with many mistakes, as by a foreigner.
      ‘a young man talking in broken Italian’
      • ‘He knew that it was broken French, but he'd only been in that class for two whole months now.’
      • ‘The Christian family speaks broken Hindi and girls in the family dress up in the way that leaves you wondering why at all!’
      • ‘Mike started to speak, but only broken sentences and grunts came out.’
      • ‘Issac cannot even speak broken English, and there are efforts to install him as a coach.’
      • ‘It's very frustrating being ridiculed or ignored when using my broken French in a social setting.’
      • ‘As I replied to a question in broken French, the people around me instantly became aware of my language barrier.’
      • ‘When you picked up the phone in some of the command units you didn't get a dial tone but a male voice speaking in broken Arabic.’
      • ‘I grabbed a taxi and spoke in my broken Korean for The White Swan Hotel.’
      • ‘Conversing in Arabic just might be beyond most of us, but striking up the odd conversation in broken French ought to be manageable.’
      • ‘The crew came out but Andria said they were speaking in broken English, before emergency crews began the rescue operation.’
      • ‘The Press of Atlantic City interviewed Kuras, who spoke in confused, broken English.’
      • ‘He spoke in broken English and claimed to be Italian.’
      • ‘I can't speak French so I started yelling back at him in broken German.’
      • ‘In fact it might even pay to speak broken English, perhaps with a Norwegian accent, when striding around ex-British colonies.’
      • ‘The only people she would be able to talk to in English would be Ovidiu, and marginally to Rica with the broken language he was still trying to learn.’
      • ‘The complainant, Cappelli, is an Italian gentleman, speaking in broken English.’
      • ‘When the man reappeared, along with several others, Buckner began to speak to them in broken English.’
      • ‘Now it has emerged he speaks only broken English and needed an interpreter to sit with him at his first full council meeting.’
      • ‘Campana, speaking in broken English, said he had no idea his fiancée would be in the city.’
      • ‘Han prefers to employ Asian males who can speak broken English.’
      halting, hesitating, disjointed, faltering, stumbling, stammering, stuttering, imperfect
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  • 4Having an uneven and rough surface.

    ‘he pressed onwards over the broken ground’
    • ‘The road was uneven, full of random stones and broken asphalt, thrusting themselves in all directions.’
    • ‘Yet its weight and density provided my only hope of getting near the broken ground and the bass.’
    • ‘Although you can hear bangs as the car rides over the broken surfaces, comfort levels for occupants remain very good.’
    • ‘The Seat, you feel, could cope as well with a buckled road across a midlands bog as with the broken surfaces in towns and cities.’
    • ‘Through a slick sheen of soft rain the broken surfaces of the pavement spread out before me.’
    • ‘Mainly found over broken ground, small eels are less discerning in their choice of habitat.’
    • ‘I found it did get unsettled when pushed hard on broken surfaces.’
    • ‘Just short of the summit of the bealach climb the broken and craggy slopes west to a ridge high above the Garbh Coire of Ben Alder.’
    • ‘Its suspension easily absorbed broken street surfaces and the precise steering made it easy to place in traffic.’
    • ‘Comfort for passengers was good at all times, even on the most broken surfaces, though the ride often feels quite firm.’
    • ‘The impact of each bolt tore deep wounds in the broken ground, sending the survivors reeling backward.’
    • ‘Rianey was running for the broken ground ahead, where she'd have some cover.’
    • ‘Cross broken ground and follow the line of fence posts to the top of the hill.’
    • ‘Two ambulances had appeared from somewhere behind the tanks and were bumping and bucking as fast as their drivers dared take them across the broken ground.’
    • ‘Of course patches of gravel might not be bars they may be just broken ground with the same depth as surrounding water, still good features though.’
    • ‘Three hours later, we finally shake the sand off our boots onto the broken, rocky surface of Ice Valley.’
    • ‘When the eggs are ready, the female deposits each egg in turn on the sea bed, generally in areas of broken ground, where the eggs can be anchored to rocks.’
    • ‘It sounded like the ground was pursing it's lips as diggers shuffled their boots on the broken ground underfoot.’
    • ‘The suspension copes well with our broken streets and bumpy corners hold no fears for it.’
    • ‘If the ground you are casting onto has areas of broken rocky ground or shallow reef, then fish will feed through the ebb tide as well.’
    uneven, rough, irregular, bumpy
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Pronunciation

broken

/ˈbrəʊk(ə)n/