broken (adj.)

"separated by force into parts, not integral or entire," past-participle adjective from Old English brocken, past participle of break (v.). Of terrain, "rough," 1590s; of language, "imperfect, ungrammatical," 1590s. Related: Brokenly; brokenness. Broken home, one in which the parents of children no longer live together, is from 1846. Broken record in reference to someone continually repeating the same thing is from 1944, in reference to scratches on phonograph disks that cause the needle to jump back and repeat.

When Britain's Minister of State, Selwyn Lloyd[,] became bored with a speech by Russia's Andrei Vishinsky in UN debate, he borrowed a Dizzy Gillespie bebop expression and commented: "Dig that broken record." While most translators pondered the meaning, a man who takes English and puts it into Chinese gave this translation: "Recover the phonograph record which you have discarded." [Jet, Oct. 15, 1953]

Definitions of broken

broken (adj.)
destroyed financially;
the broken fortunes of the family
Synonyms: wiped out / impoverished
broken (adj.)
physically and forcibly separated into pieces or cracked or split;
a broken leg
a broken tooth
his neck is broken
a broken mirror
broken (adj.)
not continuous in space, time, or sequence or varying abruptly;
a broken note
a broken cable transmission
broken lines of defense
broken sleep
broken sobs
tear off the stub above the broken line
broken (adj.)
subdued or brought low in condition or status;
his broken spirit
a broken man
Synonyms: crushed / humbled / humiliated / low
broken (adj.)
(especially of promises or contracts) having been violated or disregarded;
broken contracts
broken (or unkept) promises
Synonyms: unkept
broken (adj.)
tamed or trained to obey;
a horse broken to the saddle
this old nag is well broken in
Synonyms: broken in
broken (adj.)
topographically very uneven;
broken terrain
Synonyms: rugged
broken (adj.)
imperfectly spoken or written;
broken English
broken (adj.)
thrown into a state of disarray or confusion;
troops fleeing in broken ranks
Synonyms: confused / disordered / upset
broken (adj.)
weakened and infirm;
broken health resulting from alcoholism
broken (adj.)
out of working order (`busted' is an informal substitute for `broken');
a broken washing machine
the coke machine is broken
Synonyms: busted
broken (adj.)
broken clouds
broken sunshine
broken (adj.)
lacking a part or parts;
a broken set of encyclopedia