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broken record

A person or thing that repeats itself over and over again. Likened to vinyl records that when severely scratched (i.e., "broken") can loop over the same recorded segment endlessly. I feel like a broken record having to tell you this each day, but please clean your room!
See also: broken, record

broken vessel

Someone who is or feels completely destroyed, hollow, forsaken, or inadequate. Taken from the biblical symbolism of a person being a vessel into which God fills divine wisdom and grace. I have no one who cares about me, and I have no job or prospects. I'm feeling like a broken vessel these days.
See also: broken, vessel


Very sad, typically due to a tragic event or the end of a romantic relationship. I feel awful for Alex—she has just been so broken-hearted since Marissa broke up with her. Debbie is just broken-hearted over the death of her son, and I have no idea how to console her.

rules are made to be broken

A phrase used to justify one's rebellious actions. A: "But we're not allowed to go into the faculty lounge!" B: "Oh, come on, rules are made to be broken."
See also: broken, made, rule

broken dreams

wishes or desires that cannot be fulfilled. We all have our share of broken dreams, but they were never all meant to come true anyway.
See also: broken, dream

broken reed

an unreliable or undependable person. (On the image of a useless, broken reed in a reed instrument.) You can't rely on Jim's support. He's a broken reed. Mr. Smith is a broken reed. His deputy has to make all the decisions.
See also: broken, reed

die of a broken heart

Fig. to die of emotional distress. I was not surprised to hear of her death. They say she died of a broken heart. In the movie, the heroine appeared to die of a broken heart, but the audience knew she was poisoned.
See also: broken, die, heart, of

Promises are like piecrust, made to be broken.

Prov. It is useless to make promises, because people always break their promises. Lisa made Andrew promise not to drink anymore, but promises are like piecrust, made to be broken.
See also: broken, like, made, Promise

sound like a broken record

to say the same thing over and over again. (Fig. on a scratch in a phonograph record causing the needle [or stylus] to stay in the same groove and play it over and over.) He's always complaining about the way she treats him. He sounds like a broken record! I hate to sound like a broken record, but we just don't have enough people on the payroll to work effciently.
See also: broken, like, record, sound

break someone's heart

Cause severe emotional pain or grief. For example, If the verdict is guilty, it will break her mother's heart. This hyperbole has appeared in works by Chaucer, Shakespeare, and George Bernard Shaw, among others. In noun form it appears as both a broken heart and heartbreak (Shaw wrote a play entitled Heartbreak House, 1913). Today it also is used ironically, as in You only scored an A-minus on the final? That breaks my heart! [Late 1300s]
See also: break, heart

broken reed

A weak or unreliable support, as in I'd counted on her to help, but she turned out to be a broken reed. The idea behind this idiom, first recorded about 1593, was already present in a mid-15th-century translation of a Latin tract, "Trust not nor lean not upon a windy reed."
See also: broken, reed

like a broken record

To repeat and repeat ad nauseam. Vinyl records, as those readers who remember them will recall, have spiraling grooves in which the photograph needle picked up the sound. When a groove developed a crack or other imperfection, the needle became stuck and the sound kept repeating until someone moved the phonograph arm to the next groove. The expression was applied to anyone who repeated a remark or request over and over until it sounded like a broken record . . . a broken record . . . a broken record.
See also: broken, like, record
References in periodicals archive ?
The ratings success of Broken Trail is a culmination of a multi-tiered strategy behind the launch of AMC's first original movie.
In addition to the production of Broken Trail, AMC has made a number of original programming announcements from AMC, including a co-production agreement with BBC for the critically acclaimed drama "Hustle" and the network's first dramatic pilot, "Mad Men," produced and written by Matthew Weiner (The Sopranos) and set in advertising world of the 1960s.
The Long Riders and Last Man Standing, BROKEN TRAIL is written by Alan Geoffrion.
BROKEN TRAIL marks cinematographer Lloyd Ahern's eighth collaboration with Walter Hill, after such projects as Deadwood, Wild Bill and Geronimo, an American Legend.
BROKEN TRAIL began production in mid August and was shot on location in Calgary.
Pyramid Broken Rake Amber Ale is one of four seasonal beers by Pyramid.
By integrating its LinkMap with a growing range of services, LinkGuard will be able to take ILM to another level by tracking, managing and fixing broken links on the Web.
Through the use of its first ILM service, LinkGuard Classic, Web professionals are able to manage and track broken links.
The Unique Ability to Repair Broken Links: In addition to automatically identifying and bypassing Broken Links, LinkGuard uniquely provides the ability to repair broken links.
This round of funding will allow us to confirm our position as the only provider of a dynamic solution to the problem of broken links and to push forward with our new generation of products.
On Sunday, a broken water main opened a sinkhole on Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Erwin Street, also in the West Valley, near Warner Center.
Crashes this year have left Ricky Craven with a couple of fractured ribs and a broken shoulder blade, and Steve Grissom and Greg Sacks hobbling with broken feet.
He's got a broken rib or broken collarbone or foot or something broken.
If approved, Broken Arrow would issue shares of restricted common stock representing approximately 85% of the outstanding common stock at the time of closing to the shareholders of Finance USA for 100% of the stock of Finance USA.
Presently, Broken Arrow has approximately 62 million shares outstanding.