defect

noun
de·​fect | \ ˈdē-ˌfekt, di-ˈ \

Definition of defect 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an imperfection that impairs worth or utility : shortcoming the grave defects in our foreign policy A defect prevented the DVD from playing properly.
b chemistry : an imperfection (such as a vacancy or an unlike atom) in a crystal lattice (see lattice sense 2)
2 : a lack of something necessary for completeness, adequacy, or perfection : deficiency a hearing defect

defect

verb
de·​fect | \ di-ˈfekt \
defected; defecting; defects

Definition of defect (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to forsake one cause, party, or nation for another often because of a change in ideology a former KGB agent who defected to America
2 : to leave one situation (such as a job) often to go over to a rival the reporter defected to another network

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Other Words from defect

Verb

defector \ -​ˈfek-​tər \ noun

Examples of defect in a Sentence

Noun

They examine their products for defects. She was born with a heart defect. Vanity and pride were his two worst character defects.

Verb

The Russian scholar defected in 1979. She defected from the conservative party. He defected to the West before the war began. The reporter defected to another TV network.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And, informatively, people with radical beliefs were less likely to update their confidence in response to the additional information, a feature that the authors consider a defect specific to metacognition. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Political radicals don’t evaluate their own errors—about anything," 21 Dec. 2018 And if there is a mechanical defect, there is the parts department at Bob’s Mower Shop. Jonathan Kolatch, WSJ, "Keeping Dad Alive From 7,000 Miles Away," 23 Dec. 2018 Using several smaller dies helps avoid these defects. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Intel announces Cascade Lake Xeons: 48 cores and 12-channel memory per socket," 5 Nov. 2018 In the collision’s wake, a design defect doomed the ship by letting in water that worsened flooding. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "How Confusion and Defects Led to a Norwegian Warship's Embarrassing Accident," 3 Dec. 2018 The announcement comes just days after the company recalled some of its Segway Ninebot scooters in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Lake Tahoe due to manufacturing defects that could result in battery explosions. Dami Lee, The Verge, "Lime is investing $3 million to educate riders on safe scooter practices," 5 Nov. 2018 Any buyer would appreciate knowing upfront about any defects a piece of furniture might have, so don't shy away from posting close-up images of blemishes. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "An Expert's Top Advice for Selling Furniture Online," 13 Sep. 2018 Any future plebiscite will be hobbled by the same defect as the last one: ambiguity about the precise outcome voters desire. Joseph C. Sternberg, WSJ, "Britain Risks Death by a Thousand Elections," 21 Nov. 2018 Blake was born with Spina Bifida and had surgery the day after he was born to close the defect on his back, after his spine did not form properly in the womb. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Best Grandpa Ever Makes the Cutest Halloween Costume for His Grandson With Spina Bifida," 24 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

She is widely viewed as the most moderate Republican senator, and famously defected from her party to help sink Obamacare repeal last year. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Susan Collins will vote for Brett Kavanaugh, making his confirmation nearly certain," 5 Oct. 2018 Senate Republicans voted last year to eliminate the 60-vote requirement for Supreme Court nominees, meaning the GOP will not need Democratic votes to confirm Kennedy's successor unless some Republicans defect. chicagotribune.com, "President can reshape high court for decades with his next nominee," 28 June 2018 Photo: John Duricka/Associated Press Republicans will have a 53-47 Senate majority next year, putting Mr. Barr in a strong position unless GOP senators defect. Rebecca Ballhaus, WSJ, "Democrats Criticize Barr Over Mueller Memo; Nomination Proceeds," 20 Dec. 2018 Seven members of Wickremesinghe’s United National Front have defected to Rajapaksa’s side. Bharatha Mallawarachi, The Seattle Times, "Deputy minister resigns as Sri Lanka political crisis grows," 6 Nov. 2018 Six ruling party lawmakers defect to the opposition to challenge Yameen's rule. Bharatha Mallawarachi, Fox News, "Timeline of political events leading up to Maldives election," 21 Sep. 2018 Related Looming over her is also the threat of cabinet members defecting. Max Colchester, WSJ, "Campaign to Oust U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May Fizzles—for Now," 20 Nov. 2018 But a small splinter group of white evangelicals defecting from the GOP, combined with wider demographic changes in the number of white evangelicals overall, may herald the weakening of the white evangelical-GOP alliance over time. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "The GOP can’t rely on white evangelicals forever," 7 Nov. 2018 The vice president rushed to the Senate to push the bill through after two female Republicans, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and Maine's Susan Collins, defected and voted against it. Erica Pishdadian, Marie Claire, "Mike Pence Casts Tiebreaker Vote Allowing States to Defund Planned Parenthood," 30 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'defect.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of defect

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for defect

Noun

Middle English, borrowed from Latin dēfectus "failure, absence, lack, weakness," from dēficere "to be lacking, run short, weaken, fail" + -tus, suffix of action nouns — more at deficient

Verb

borrowed from Latin dēfectus, past participle of dēficere "to be lacking, fail, become disaffected, go over (to the side of an opponent)" — more at deficient

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Statistics for defect

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for defect

The first known use of defect was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for defect

defect

noun

English Language Learners Definition of defect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a physical problem that causes something to be less valuable, effective, healthy, etc.

: something that causes weakness or failure

defect

verb

English Language Learners Definition of defect (Entry 2 of 2)

: to leave a country, political party, organization, etc., and go to a different one that is a competitor or an enemy

defect

noun
de·​fect | \ ˈdē-ˌfekt, di-ˈfekt\

Kids Definition of defect

1 : something that makes a thing imperfect : flaw A slight defect lowered the diamond's value.
2 : a lack of something needed for perfection Doctors can correct the hearing defect.

defect

noun
de·​fect | \ ˈdē-ˌfekt, di-ˈ \

Medical Definition of defect 

: a lack or deficiency of something necessary for adequacy in form or function a hearing defect

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defect

noun
de·​fect | \ ˈdē-ˌfekt, di-ˈfekt \

Legal Definition of defect 

: something or a lack of something that results in incompleteness, inadequacy, or imperfection: as
a : a flaw in something (as a product) especially that creates an unreasonable risk of harm in its normal use — see also latent defect
b : an error or omission in a court document (as an indictment or pleading)
c : some imperfection in the chain of title to property that makes the title unmarketable

Other Words from defect

defective \ di-​ˈfek-​tiv \ adjective
defectively adverb
defectiveness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on defect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with defect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for defect

Spanish Central: Translation of defect

Nglish: Translation of defect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of defect for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about defect

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