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[brohk] /broʊk/
a simple past tense of break.
Nonstandard. a past participle of break.
Archaic. a past participle of break.
without money; penniless.
Papermaking. paper unfit for sale; paper that is to be repulped.
brokes, wool of poor quality taken from the neck and belly of sheep.
go broke,
  1. to become destitute of money or possessions.
  2. to go bankrupt:
    In that business people are forever going broke.
go for broke, to exert oneself or employ one's resources to the utmost.
Origin of broke
1655-65 (adj.); 1875-80 (noun)
4, 5. insolvent, destitute, impoverished. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for go broke
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What if he does go broke, there's plenty more money to be had.

  • You can go broke with all the contributions you have to make in school.

  • But their purpose is probably only to make such a threat that the Greeks will go broke guarding against them.

    The Invaders William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • You've got to unload or go broke, and you can't unload on a falling market.

  • Stuyvesant did not go broke, and Frances sailed on the first of June.

    The Wall Street Girl Frederick Orin Bartlett
  • And you'll do your collectin' with a gun, or go broke, if it's Red Summers and his friends.

    Overland Red Henry Herbert Knibbs
  • My brother is out here on a life and death mission, my uncle stands to go broke if this mission fails, and Im going to help.

    The Moon Colony William Dixon Bell
  • "We'll let that ride—to sober up on, if we go broke," he grunted.

    Cabin Fever B. M. Bower
British Dictionary definitions for go broke


the past tense of break
(informal) having no money; bankrupt
(slang) go for broke, to risk everything in a gambling or other venture
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for go broke



past tense and obsolete past participle of break (v.); extension to "insolvent" is first recorded 1716 (broken in this sense is attested from 1590s). Old English cognate broc meant, in addition to "that which breaks," "affliction, misery."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for go broke

go broke

verb phrase

To become penniless; become insolvent; go belly up, take a bath: His newest escapade into the fashionable world of trade and manufacturing had again gone bust (1895+)



Entirely out of money; destitute (1660s+)

Related Terms

all hell broke loose, dead broke, flat broke, go broke, go for broke

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with go broke

go broke

Also,go bust. Undergo financial collapse, lose most or all of one's money. For example, The company's about to go broke, or The producer of that movie went bust. The first expression dates from the mid-1600s; the second, slangier variant dates from the mid-1800s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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