bank·rupt (băngkrŭpt′, -rəpt)
1. Law A person, business, or organization legally declared insolvent because of inability to pay debts.
2. A person who is totally lacking in a specified resource or quality: an intellectual bankrupt.
a. Having been legally declared insolvent.
b. Financially ruined; impoverished.
a. Depleted of valuable qualities or characteristics: a morally and ethically bankrupt politician.
b. Totally depleted; destitute: was bankrupt of new ideas.
c. Being in a ruined state: a bankrupt foreign policy.
tr.v. bank·rupt·ed, bank·rupt·ing, bank·rupts
1. To cause to become financially bankrupt.
2. To ruin: an administration that bankrupted its credibility by seeking to manipulate the news.
[French banqueroute, from Italian banca rotta, broken counter (from the practice of breaking the counters of bankrupt bankers) : banca, moneychanger's table; see BANK2 + rotta, feminine of rotto, past participle of rompere, to break (from Latin rumpere; see reup- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.