break (one's) word

(redirected from broken word)
Also found in: Legal.

break (one's) word

To fail to act as one has promised. Tom said he'd help us move, but he broke his word and failed to show. If you keep flaking out, you're going to become known as someone who breaks their word.
See also: break, word

break one's word

not to do what one said one would do; not to keep one's promise. (Compare this with keep one's word.) Don't say you'll visit your grandmother if you can't go. She hates people to break their word. If you break your word, she won't trust you again.
See also: break, word

break one's word

Violate or fail to observe a promise or contract one has made. For example, You can trust him implicitly; I've never known him to break his word. [c. a.d. 1000]
See also: break, word
References in classic literature ?
Then straightway the youth told the three yeomen all that was in his heart; at first in broken words and phrases, then freely and with greater ease when he saw that all listened closely to what he said.
Half asleep, and murmuring broken words, they stood in the angle made by the bow of the boat.
Having taken a seat, however, he contrived to say, though in broken words, 'What--what have you to say to me--more than has been said already?
Let the tears which fell, and the broken words which were exchanged in the long close embrace between the orphans, be sacred.
His voice was hollow and tremulous as he took me aside, and in broken words recounted a long catalogue of sickness and privations, terminating as usual with an urgent request for the loan of a trifling sum of money.
She took his hand in both her own and murmured a few broken words of gratitude.
Oh, shut up," growled Martin, somewhat abashed by the violence of her broken words and gasping sobs.
In Sacred Word, Broken Word, Kenton Sparks encourages Christians to reconsider their doctrines of Scripture.
Chairman of the judges Matthew Parris revealed that the decision was close run with Adam Foulds for The Broken Word, with judges split five to four at one point.
Schestag presents a constitutively broken word that produces transience, difference, and transformation within seemingly permanent things.
He will also speak about his long poem, The Broken Word.
Sometimes, there is not enough information in the first part of a broken word to identify the whole word.
Were even a single penalty incurred, Barina, for the sum of all your violate vows, or were you one tooth uglier,] one nail more broken, for the now-enormous volume of your broken word, I might be able to believe you.
The public will be the ultimate victim of Gallagher's broken word.
Chair of the judges, columnist and broadcaster Matthew Parris, said that it was an extraordinarily close finish between Barry's novel and a narrative poem, The Broken Word by Adam Foulds.