break (one's) word

(redirected from broken word)

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

keep/break your ˈword

do/fail to do what you have promised: Do you think she’ll break her word and tell everyone?
See also: break, keep, word
References in classic literature ?
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.
And then the old man clasped his hands above her head, and said, in a few broken words, that from that time forth they would wander up and down together, and never part more until Death took one or other of the twain.
For several minutes there was nothing but the sound of sobbing in the room, mingled with broken words of comfort, tender assurances of help, and hopeful whispers that died away in tears.
Like an exquisite jigsaw puzzle or crossword, Kirlin plays with language through puns, synecdoche, broken word fragments, and provocative enjambments to give heightened meaning to Meredith's poetry.
Sacred Word, Broken Word: Biblical Authority and the Dark Side of Scripture.
The other shortlisted contenders, who each received a cheque for GBP500, were: Adam Foulds for The Broken Word; Henry Hitchings for The Secret Life of Words; and Edward Hogan for Blackmoor.
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.
Opening with the driving rocker "Little Light," the album has an intensity that doesn't let up even through the whispery ballads ("Slippin' Away"), country soul ditties ('I Hate/I Love"), entrancing spirituals (an almost ethereal cover of Sweet Honey in the Rock's classic "Ballad of the Broken Word"), and the closing of a slowed-down acoustic version of the Cars' 1978 hit "Just What I Needed."
Sometimes, there is not enough information in the first part of a broken word to identify the whole word.