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Law. a person who upon his or her own petition or that of his or her creditors is adjudged insolvent by a court and whose property is administered for and divided among his or her creditors under a bankruptcy law.
any insolvent debtor; a person unable to satisfy any just claims made upon him or her.
a person who is lacking in a particular thing or quality:
a moral bankrupt.
Law. subject to or under legal process because of insolvency; insolvent.
at the end of one’s resources; lacking (usually followed by of or in):
bankrupt of compassion; bankrupt in good manners.
pertaining to bankrupts or bankruptcy.
to make bankrupt:
His embezzlement bankrupted the company.
Contemporary Examples

One can easily imagine the Democratic ads: “Even Newt Gingrich said Romney robbed companies and bankrupted them.”
Will New Hampshire’s Primary Matter in the 2012 GOP Nomination Battle? Howard Kurtz January 9, 2012

Strangely, none of these failed predictions have bankrupted the prophetic project.
Sorry, Evangelicals, Syria Will Not Spur the Second Coming Candida Moss September 4, 2013

Eleven well-known speculators killed themselves, and many more were bankrupted.
The Original Bernie Madoff Frank Partnoy April 23, 2009

It bankrupted him, compelling the marbles’ sale to the museum.
Greece’s Modern Wonder Linda Yablonsky June 24, 2009

Historical Examples

The panic destroyed the railways and bankrupted the inhabitants.
The Last American Frontier Frederic L. (Frederic Logan) Paxson

Let me not have bankrupted myself for a trust thou wilt not give!
The City of Delight Elizabeth Miller

Any other industry than that of agriculture would have been bankrupted.
History of Farming in Ontario C. C. James

Many local unions had bankrupted themselves by paying large sick benefits.
Beneficiary Features of American Trade Unions James B. Kennedy

The Iowa harvester factory failed in 1875 and bankrupted the state Grange.
The Agrarian Crusade Solon J. Buck

If he hadn’t run out of whitewash he would have bankrupted every boy in the village.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Complete Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

a person adjudged insolvent by a court, his or her property being transferred to a trustee and administered for the benefit of his creditors
any person unable to discharge all his or her debts
a person whose resources in a certain field are exhausted or nonexistent: a spiritual bankrupt
adjudged insolvent
financially ruined
depleted in resources or having completely failed: spiritually bankrupt
(foll by of) (Brit) lacking: bankrupt of intelligence
(transitive) to make bankrupt

1560s, from Italian banca rotta, literally “a broken bench,” from banca “moneylender’s shop,” literally “bench” (see bank (n.1)) + rotta “broken, defeated, interrupted” from (and remodeled on) Latin rupta, fem. past participle of rumpere “to break” (see rupture (n.)). “[S]o called from the habit of breaking the bench of bankrupts” [Klein]. Earlier in English as a noun, “bankrupt person” (1530s).

1550s, from bankrupt (adj.). Related: Bankrupted; bankrupting.


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