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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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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."
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.