Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Etymology 1[edit]

Ablauted form of break.



  1. simple past tense of break
  2. (archaic, nonstandard or poetic) past participle of break
    • 1973, “Photograph”, in Ringo, performed by Ringo Starr:
      I can't get used to living here / While my heart is broke, my tears I cry for you
    • 1999 October 3, J. Stewart Burns, "Mars University", Futurama, season 2, episode 2, Fox Broadcasting Company
      Guenther: I guess the hat must have broke my fall.


broke (not generally comparable, comparative broker or more broke, superlative brokest or most broke)

  1. (informal) Financially ruined, bankrupt.
    • 1665 July 6, Samuel Pepys, Vol. VI, p. 150:
      It seems some of his Creditors have taken notice of it, and he was like to be broke yesterday in his absence.
  2. (informal) Without any money, penniless.
    dead broke; flat broke
  3. (informal) Broken.
    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
  4. Emotionally shattered, humbled or crushed.
  5. (nautical) Demoted, deprived of a commission.
    He was broke and rendered unfit to serve His Majesty at sea.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page per etymology instructions. You can also discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.


broke (plural brokes)

  1. (papermaking) Paper or board that is discarded and repulped during the manufacturing process.
    • 1880, James Dunbar, The Practical Papermaker: A Complete Guide to the Manufacture of Paper[1], page 12:
      If the broke accumulates, a larger proportion can be used in making coloured papers, otherwise the above quantity is sufiicient.
    • 1914, The World's Paper Trade Review, Volume 62, page 204:
      Presumably, most of the brokes and waste were used up in this manner, and during the manufacture of the coarse stuff little or no attention was paid to either cleanliness or colour.
    • 2014 September 25, Judge Diane Wood, NCR Corp. v. George A. Whiting Paper Co.:
      These mills purchase broke from other paper mills through middlemen and use it to make paper.

Etymology 3[edit]

Back-formation from broker.


broke (third-person singular simple present brokes, present participle broking, simple past and past participle broked)

  1. To act as a broker; to transact business for another.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Broome to this entry?)
  2. (obsolete) To act as procurer in love matters; to pimp.
    • Fanshawe
      We do want a certain necessary woman to broke between them, Cupid said.
    • Shakespeare
      And brokes with all that can in such a suit / Corrupt the tender honour of a maid.