AskDefine | Define broke

Dictionary Definition

broke adj : lacking funds; "`skint' is a British slang term" [syn: bust, skint, stone-broke, stony-broke]break


1 some abrupt occurrence that interrupts; "the telephone is an annoying interruption"; "there was a break in the action when a player was hurt" [syn: interruption]
2 an unexpected piece of good luck; "he finally got his big break" [syn: good luck, happy chance]
3 (geology) a crack in the earth's crust resulting from the displacement of one side with respect to the other; "they built it right over a geological fault" [syn: fault, geological fault, shift, fracture]
4 a personal or social separation (as between opposing factions); "they hoped to avoid a break in relations" [syn: rupture, breach, severance, rift, falling out]
5 a pause from doing something (as work); "we took a 10-minute break"; "he took time out to recuperate" [syn: respite, recess, time out]
6 the act of breaking something; "the breakage was unavoidable" [syn: breakage, breaking]
7 a time interval during which there is a temporary cessation of something [syn: pause, intermission, interruption, suspension]
8 breaking of hard tissue such as bone; "it was a nasty fracture"; "the break seems to have been caused by a fall" [syn: fracture]
9 the occurrence of breaking; "the break in the dam threatened the valley"
10 the opening shot that scatters the balls in billiards or pool
11 (tennis) a score consisting of winning a game when your opponent was serving; "he was up two breaks in the second set" [syn: break of serve]
12 an act of delaying or interrupting the continuity; "it was presented without commercial breaks" [syn: interruption, disruption, gap]
13 a sudden dash; "he made a break for the open door"
14 any frame in which a bowler fails to make a strike or spare; "the break in the eighth frame cost him the match" [syn: open frame]
15 an escape from jail; "the breakout was carefully planned" [syn: breakout, jailbreak, gaolbreak, prisonbreak, prison-breaking]


1 terminate; "She interrupted her pregnancy"; "break a lucky streak"; "break the cycle of poverty" [syn: interrupt]
2 become separated into pieces or fragments; "The figurine broke"; "The freshly baked loaf fell apart" [syn: separate, split up, fall apart, come apart]
3 destroy the integrity of; usually by force; cause to separate into pieces or fragments; "He broke the glass plate"; "She broke the match"
4 render inoperable or ineffective; "You broke the alarm clock when you took it apart!"
5 ruin completely; "He busted my radio!" [syn: bust] [ant: repair]
6 act in disregard of laws and rules; "offend all laws of humanity"; "violate the basic laws or human civilization"; "break a law" [syn: transgress, offend, infract, violate, go against, breach]
7 move away or escape suddenly; "The horses broke from the stable"; "Three inmates broke jail"; "Nobody can break out--this prison is high security" [syn: break out, break away]
8 scatter or part; "The clouds broke after the heavy downpour"
9 force out or release suddenly and often violently something pent up; "break into tears"; "erupt in anger" [syn: burst, erupt]
10 prevent completion; "stop the project"; "break off the negociations" [syn: break off, discontinue, stop]
11 enter someone's property in an unauthorized manner, usually with the intent to steal or commit a violent act; "Someone broke in while I was on vacation"; "They broke into my car and stole my radio!" [syn: break in]
12 make submissive, obedient, or useful; "The horse was tough to break"; "I broke in the new intern" [syn: break in]
13 fail to agree with; be in violation of; as of rules or patterns; "This sentence violates the rules of syntax" [syn: violate, go against] [ant: conform to]
14 surpass in excellence; "She bettered her own record"; "break a record" [syn: better]
15 make known to the public information that was previously known only to a few people or that was meant to be kept a secret; "The auction house would not disclose the price at which the van Gogh had sold"; "The actress won't reveal how old she is"; "bring out the truth"; "he broke the news to her" [syn: disclose, let on, bring out, reveal, discover, expose, divulge, impart, give away, let out]
16 come into being; "light broke over the horizon"; "Voices broke in the air"
17 stop operating or functioning; "The engine finally went"; "The car died on the road"; "The bus we travelled in broke down on the way to town"; "The coffee maker broke"; "The engine failed on the way to town"; "her eyesight went after the accident" [syn: fail, go bad, give way, die, give out, conk out, go, break down]
18 interrupt a continued activity; "She had broken with the traditional patterns" [syn: break away]
19 make a rupture in the ranks of the enemy or one's own by quitting or fleeing; "The ranks broke"
20 curl over and fall apart in surf or foam, of waves; "The surf broke"
21 lessen in force or effect; "soften a shock"; "break a fall" [syn: dampen, damp, soften, weaken]
22 be broken in; "If the new teacher won't break, we'll add some stress"
23 come to an end; "The heat wave finally broke yesterday"
24 vary or interrupt a uniformity or continuity; "The flat plain was broken by tall mesas"
25 cause to give up a habit; "She finally broke herself of smoking cigarettes"
26 give up; "break cigarette smoking"
27 come forth or begin from a state of latency; "The first winter storm broke over New York"
28 happen or take place; "Things have been breaking pretty well for us in the past few months"
29 cause the failure or ruin of; "His peccadilloes finally broke his marriage"; "This play will either make or break the playwright" [ant: make]
30 invalidate by judicial action; "The will was broken"
31 discontinue an association or relation; go different ways; "The business partners broke over a tax question"; "The couple separated after 25 years of marriage"; "My friend and I split up" [syn: separate, part, split up, split, break up]
32 assign to a lower position; reduce in rank; "She was demoted because she always speaks up"; "He was broken down to Sargeant" [syn: demote, bump, relegate, kick downstairs] [ant: promote]
33 reduce to bankruptcy; "My daughter's fancy wedding is going to break me!"; "The slump in the financial markets smashed him" [syn: bankrupt, ruin, smash]
34 change directions suddenly
35 emerge from the surface of a body of water; "The whales broke"
36 break down, literally or metaphorically; "The wall collapsed"; "The business collapsed"; "The dam broke"; "The roof collapsed"; "The wall gave in"; "The roof finally gave under the weight of the ice" [syn: collapse, fall in, cave in, give, give way, founder]
37 do a break dance; "Kids were break-dancing at the street corner" [syn: break dance, break-dance]
38 exchange for smaller units of money; "I had to break a $100 bill just to buy the candy"
39 destroy the completeness of a set of related items; "The book dealer would not break the set" [syn: break up]
40 make the opening shot that scatters the balls
41 separate from a clinch, in boxing; "The referee broke the boxers"
42 go to pieces; "The lawn mower finally broke"; "The gears wore out"; "The old chair finally fell apart completely" [syn: wear, wear out, bust, fall apart]
43 break a piece from a whole; "break a branch from a tree" [syn: break off, snap off]
44 become punctured or penetrated; "The skin broke"
45 pierce or penetrate; "The blade broke her skin"
46 be released or become known; of news; "News of her death broke in the morning" [syn: get out, get around]
47 cease an action temporarily; "We pause for station identification"; "let's break for lunch" [syn: pause, intermit]
48 interrupt the flow of current in; "break a circuit"
49 undergo breaking; "The simple vowels broke in many Germanic languages"
50 find a flaw in; "break an alibi"; "break down a proof"
51 find the solution or key to; "break the code"
52 change suddenly from one tone quality or register to another; "Her voice broke to a whisper when she started to talk about her children"
53 happen; "Report the news as it develops"; "These political movements recrudesce from time to time" [syn: recrudesce, develop]
54 become fractured; break or crack on the surface only; "The glass cracked when it was heated" [syn: crack, check]
55 of the male voice in puberty; "his voice is breaking--he should no longer sing in the choir"
56 fall sharply; "stock prices broke"
57 fracture a bone of; "I broke my foot while playing hockey" [syn: fracture]
58 diminish or discontinue abruptly; "The patient's fever broke last night"
59 weaken or destroy in spirit or body; "His resistance was broken"; "a man broken by the terrible experience of near-death" [also: broken, broke]broke See break

User Contributed Dictionary





lacking money; bankrupt


  1. simple past of break
  2. In the context of "archaic|or|poetic}}

Extensive Definition

Broke may refer to:
  • To being currently (but not necessarily permanently) out of money
  • The expression stone broke refers to a craftsman's stone bench being broken if he failed to pay his debts. (Robert L. Shook, The Book of Why, 1983)
  • Broke, New South wales, village in Australia
  • Discarded paper created when a break occurs in the normally continuous papermaking process. The broke is usually recycled.
  • Snapped in half or ripped
  • Arthur Broke (or Brooke) (died 1593), translator of The Tragicall Historie of Romeus and Juliett
  • Philip Broke (1776-1841), officer in the British Navy

See also

broke in French: Broke

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

bankrupt, beat, beggared, broken, busted, dead, destitute, down-and-out, failed, flat, flat broke, hard up, impoverished, in receivership, indigent, insolvent, needy, on the rocks, on the skids, oofless, penniless, penurious, poor, poverty-stricken, ruined, short, stone-broke, stony, strapped, up against it
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