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the state of being or becoming bankrupt.
utter ruin, failure, depletion, or the like.
Contemporary Examples

The hospitalization, however, was so expensive it forced Jeannette into bankruptcy.
How a Psychiatric Slip-Up Killed a Cop Mansfield Frazier November 2, 2009

After the bankruptcy of Mt. Gox, the Japanese police opened an investigation into this case.
Vilified Bitcoin Tycoon After Losing $500 Million: My Life Is at Risk Nathalie-Kyoko Stucky September 16, 2014

Often, bankruptcy or the threat of it is the only way these nasty tectonic-shifting changes can be pushed through.
Why European Countries Are Like American Banks Andy Kessler June 18, 2010

Blondin is a bankruptcy lawyer, like Warren, and has known her for decades.
Obama’s 2008 Backers: We’re Ready for Warren David Freedlander October 8, 2014

And if for some reason they needed some government help, that should have come getting them out of bankruptcy.
Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and More Sunday Talk The Daily Beast Video February 25, 2012

Historical Examples

Hence it comes that no newspaper is trusted now, no books are bought, and the booksellers are on the eve of bankruptcy.
The Best of the World’s Classics, Restricted to Prose, Vol. IX (of X) – America – I Various

The slaves of an estate in bankruptcy must be sold publicly to the highest bidder.
The Quadroon Mayne Reid

From a safe covert he watched the redskins plunge him into bankruptcy.
Last of the Great Scouts Helen Cody Wetmore

It was at the suit of Gayarre the bankruptcy was declared, was it not?
The Quadroon Mayne Reid

Men will carry off curiosity with various kinds of laughter and bravado, just as they will carry off drunkenness or bankruptcy.
What I Saw in America G. K. Chesterton

noun (pl) -cies
the state, condition, or quality of being or becoming bankrupt

1700, from bankrupt, “probably on the analogy of insolvency, but with -t erroneously retained in spelling, instead of being merged in the suffix ….” [OED]. Figurative use from 1761.

Legally declared insolvency, or inability to pay creditors.

Note: If an individual or a corporation declares bankruptcy, a court will appoint an official to make an inventory of the individual’s or corporation’s assets and to establish a schedule by which creditors can be partially repaid what is owed them.

Note: An individual who is lacking a specific resource or quality is sometimes said to be bankrupt, as in intellectually bankrupt or morally bankrupt.


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  • Banks

    Sir Joseph, 1734–1820, English naturalist. Nathaniel Prentiss [pren-tis] /ˈprɛn tɪs/ (Show IPA), 1816–94, U.S. army officer and politician: Speaker of the House 1856–57. a long pile or heap; mass: a bank of earth; a bank of clouds. a slope or acclivity. Physical Geography. the slope immediately bordering a stream course along which the water normally […]

  • Banks island

    an island in the W Northwest Territories, in NW Canada. 24,600 sq. mi. (63,700 sq. km). Historical Examples I felt that our Banks Island scholars must be removed, and that at once lest they should die. Life of John Coleridge Patteson Charlotte M. Yonge On the Banks Island these prohibitions are very severe and painfully […]

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