break the bank

Idioms & Phrases

break the bank

Ruin one financially, exhaust one's resources, as in I guess the price of a movie won't break the bank. This term originated in gambling, where it means that a player has won more than the banker (the house) can pay. It also may be used ironically, as above. [c. 1600]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: break the back of
Next Definition: break the ice
Words Near: break the bank
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for break the bank
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing break the bank
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature