broken

Something that's broken is severely damaged — it's either split into pieces or doesn't work anymore. Your broken alarm clock is no help at all when you're trying to get to school on time!

If your arm is broken, the bone is physically damaged and needs time to heal before you can use it the way you normally do. And if your mom's favorite teapot is broken after being dropped on the floor, it may be beyond repair. Other things can be metaphorically broken, like a family split by divorce, speech that's not fluent, or your heart: "It's sad that you guys split up, but you're not going to die of a broken heart."

Definitions of broken
  1. adjective
    physically and forcibly separated into pieces or cracked or split
    “a broken mirror”
    “a broken tooth”
    “a broken leg”
    “his neck is broken
    Synonyms:
    damaged
    harmed or injured or spoiled
    injured
    harmed
    imperfect
    not perfect; defective or inadequate
    unsound
    not sound financially
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    unbroken
    not broken; whole and intact; in one piece
    undamaged
    not harmed or spoiled; sound
    uninjured
    not injured physically or mentally
    perfect
    being complete of its kind and without defect or blemish
    sound
    financially secure and safe
    show more antonyms...
  2. adjective
    lacking a part or parts
    “a broken set of encyclopedia”
    Synonyms:
    incomplete, uncomplete
    not complete or total; not completed
  3. adjective
    out of working order (`busted' is an informal substitute for `broken')
    “a broken washing machine”
    “the coke machine is broken
    synonyms: busted
    damaged
    harmed or injured or spoiled
  4. adjective
    not continuous in space, time, or sequence or varying abruptly
    broken lines of defense”
    “a broken cable transmission”
    broken sleep”
    “tear off the stub above the broken line”
    “a broken note”
    broken sobs”
    Synonyms:
    broken-field
    varying in direction suddenly and frequently
    dashed, dotted
    having gaps or spaces
    fitful, interrupted, off-and-on
    intermittently stopping and starting
    halting
    fragmentary or halting from emotional strain
    discontinuous, noncontinuous
    not continuing without interruption in time or space
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    unbroken
    marked by continuous or uninterrupted extension in space or time or sequence
    solid
    uninterrupted in space; having no gaps or breaks
    uninterrupted
    having undisturbed continuity
    continuous, uninterrupted
    continuing in time or space without interruption
    show more antonyms...
  5. adjective
    discontinuous
    broken clouds”
    broken sunshine”
    Synonyms:
    distributed
    spread out or scattered about or divided up
  6. adjective
    topographically very uneven
    broken terrain”
    synonyms: rugged
    rough, unsmooth
    having or caused by an irregular surface
  7. adjective
    imperfectly spoken or written
    broken English”
    Synonyms:
    imperfect
    not perfect; defective or inadequate
  8. adjective
    (especially of promises or contracts) having been violated or disregarded
    broken (or unkept) promises”
    broken contracts”
    synonyms: unkept
    see moresee less
    Antonyms:
    kept, unbroken
    (especially of promises or contracts) not violated or disregarded
  9. adjective
    weakened and infirm
    Synonyms:
    impaired
    diminished in strength, quality, or utility
  10. adjective
    subdued or brought low in condition or status
    “a broken man”
    “his broken spirit”
    synonyms: crushed, humbled, humiliated, low
    humble
    marked by meekness or modesty; not arrogant or prideful
  11. adjective
    thrown into a state of disarray or confusion
    “troops fleeing in broken ranks”
    synonyms: confused, disordered, upset
    disorganised, disorganized
    lacking order or methodical arrangement or function
  12. adjective
    tamed or trained to obey
    “a horse broken to the saddle”
    synonyms: broken in
    tame, tamed
    brought from wildness into a domesticated state
  13. adjective
    destroyed financially
    “the broken fortunes of the family”
    synonyms: impoverished, wiped out
    destroyed
    spoiled or ruined or demolished
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$19.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$19.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week