Simple Definition of defunct
: no longer existing or being used
Full Definition of defunct
: no longer living, existing, or functioning <that firm is now defunct>
Examples of defunct in a sentence
She wrote for the now-defunct newspaper.
<a stack of brochures and a few faded placards are all that remain of the defunct organization>
Did You Know?
If you know that de- often means "the opposite of", it's easy to guess the meaning of defunct. Shakespeare seems to have been the first writer to use this adjective, in Henry V. Defunct American political parties include the Greenback Party, the Readjuster Party, and the Nullifier Party. Defunct Academy Awards categories include Best Dance Direction and Best Assistant Director. Defunct U.S. auto models include the Dudly Bug, the LuLu, the Hupmobile, the Gas-au-lec, and the Nu-Klea Starlite. But to speak of a person as defunct would sound disrespectful—which is how it sounds in e. e. cummings's famous poem "Buffalo Bill's defunct".
Origin and Etymology of defunct
Latin defunctus, from past participle of defungi to finish, die, from de- + fungi to perform — more at function
First Known Use: 1599
Synonym Discussion of defunct
DEFUNCT Defined for Kids
Definition of defunct for Students
: no longer existing or being used <The old factory was defunct.>
Seen and Heard
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