Definition of broken in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbrəʊk(ə)n/


past participle of break1.


1Having been broken: he had a broken arm
More example sentences
  • There's no quick or easy way to clean up a broken bottle of maple syrup.
  • Everyone survived but the poor girl has her arm broken and several stitches.
  • Last month's dispatches from the olive groves report internationals with broken ribs, broken arms and other injuries.
smashed, shattered, burst, fragmented, splintered, shivered, crushed, snapped, rent, torn, ruptured, separated, severed, in bits, in pieces;
destroyed, wrecked, demolished, disintegrated;
cracked, split, chipped
informal in smithereens/smithers
fractured, damaged, injured, maimed, crippled, lame
1.1(Of a relationship) ended, typically through infidelity: a broken marriage
More example sentences
  • Also, Frank's broken relationship with Brenda leaves something to be desired in the way of resolution.
  • Maggie is fleeing a broken relationship when she encounters a teenage girl on the train.
  • A broken relationship with a boyfriend dealt a serious blow to her confidence and again was made out to be a major catastrophe.
failed, ended
2(Of a person) having given up all hope; despairing: he went to his grave a broken man
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • But he then appeared quite a broken person as he was led away, didn't say any further words.
  • Mary was one of those broken people, a life thwarted from what it could be.
defeated, beaten, vanquished, overpowered, overwhelmed, subdued;
demoralized, dispirited, discouraged, dejected, crushed, humbled, dishonoured, ruined, crippled
3Having breaks or gaps in continuity: a broken white line across the road
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.
interrupted, disturbed, fitful, disrupted, disconnected, discontinuous, fragmentary, intermittent, unsettled, sporadic, spasmodic, erratic, troubled, incomplete
3.1(Of a language) spoken falteringly and with many mistakes, as by a foreigner: a young man talking in broken Italian
More example sentences
  • He spoke in broken English and claimed to be Italian.
  • Han prefers to employ Asian males who can speak broken English.
  • In fact it might even pay to speak broken English, perhaps with a Norwegian accent, when striding around ex-British colonies.
halting, hesitating, disjointed, faltering, stumbling, stammering, stuttering, imperfect
4Having an uneven and rough surface: he pressed onwards over the broken ground
More example sentences
  • Through a slick sheen of soft rain the broken surfaces of the pavement spread out before me.
  • Three hours later, we finally shake the sand off our boots onto the broken, rocky surface of Ice Valley.
  • Comfort for passengers was good at all times, even on the most broken surfaces, though the ride often feels quite firm.
uneven, rough, irregular, bumpy;
jagged, ragged, craggy, rutted, pitted, rutty



Pronunciation: /ˈbrəʊk(ə)nli/
Example sentences
  • ‘If only,’ he sobs brokenly, ‘if only I had taken him out more when I had the chance…‘
  • She covered her face with her hands and cried brokenly.
  • Apart from sign language, she kept struggling to express herself with her voice, though brokenly and unclearly.


Pronunciation: /ˈbrəʊk(ə)nnɪs/
Example sentences
  • But years passed before he fully grasped the greatness of God's love, before he truly dealt with his brokenness and became the man, the husband and the father that God intended him to be.
  • A poor neighborhood is visually and fundamentally recognized by chaos, noise, dirt, brokenness and a lack of resources.
  • I want to live among the broken, because I too am broken, and I believe it's only in our brokenness that we find freedom and hope.

Words that rhyme with broken

awoken, bespoken, betoken, foretoken, oaken, outspoken, plain-spoken, ryokan, spoken, token, woken

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: broken

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