defect

noun
de·​fect | \ ˈdē-ˌfekt How to pronounce defect (audio) , di-ˈfekt How to pronounce defect (audio) \

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 How to pronounce defect (audio) \
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 \ di-​ˈfek-​tər How to pronounce defector (audio) \ 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

Instead of couches and other furniture, the mobile lab has storage boxes, 13 workstations, soldering equipment, a borescope that can find defects in pipes, 3D printing equipment and devices that measure fatigue in materials. Stephen Singer, courant.com, "Goodwin College Mobile Classroom Hits The Road To Pitch Connecticut Students On Manufacturing," 18 June 2018 The iconic telescope launched aboard the space shuttle Discovery in April 1990, but a slight defect in its primary mirror caused its initial images to be a bit blurry. Mike Wall, Space.com, "Galaxy Distorted by Long-Ago Collision Glows in Gorgeous Hubble Photo," 1 June 2018 But our screening could reveal if a mother and father-to-be both carried a defect in the same gene. Carolyn Sue Richards, Smithsonian, "Most Parents Want to Test Their Unborn Kids’ Genes For Disease Risk," 25 May 2018 The procedure is used to treat certain types of cancers, tumors, abnormal tissue growth, as well as kidney lesions, uterine fibroids, aneurysms, internal bleeding, or defects in blood vessels. Madeleine Aggeler, The Cut, "Melania Trump Hospitalized Following Kidney Surgery," 14 May 2018 In just a few days, rather than weeks or months, sequencing found a defect in gene KCNQ2, which is known to cause seizures. Paul Sisson, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Genetic sequencing helps Fallbrook toddler defy odds," 27 Apr. 2018 District officials said defects in the current structure were discovered at the end of the 2017 football season when ceiling panels inside the grandstand were removed, allowing officials to see support structures that were compromised. Gregory Tejeda, Daily Southtown, "Roped off since fall, Eisenhower bleachers to be repaired ahead of next school year," 19 Apr. 2018 Magee then sold the properties to other parties without disclosing to them the resulting defects in title, according to the disciplinary board. Robert Rhoden, NOLA.com, "Northshore Technical College breaks ground for $4.2 million tech center," 9 Apr. 2018 The two products affected by the defect are the Kidde dual-sensor (photoelectric and ionization) smoke alarms, models PI2010 and PI9010. Mackenzie Schmidt, PEOPLE.com, "500,000 Smoke Detectors Recalled Over Defect That Could Prevent Them from Sensing a Fire," 22 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Eight House Republicans, largely from swing districts, defected to support the resolution, which was backed by all but one Democrat. ... Stephanie Armour, WSJ, "Democrats, Trump Try to Keep Spotlight on Health Care," 3 Apr. 2019 Related The beer company also has stepped up its efforts to woo consumers defecting to wine and cocktails. Jennifer Maloney, WSJ, "As Americans Drink Less Alcohol, Booze Makers Look Beyond the Barrel," 17 Jan. 2019 Lopez Obrador's Morena party is also polling strongly in congressional contests, and that -- coupled with the likelihood of lawmakers defecting to the winning side -- puts a working majority within reach. Nacha Cattan And Justin Villamil, Houston Chronicle, "Expect Lopez Obrador, foe of Mexico's energy reforms, to win presidency," 15 May 2018 The civil rights movement sorted black voters into the Democratic Party and pushed racially conservative white Southerners to defect to the GOP. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The 9 thinkers who made sense of 2018’s chaos," 27 Dec. 2018 Meanwhile, Rhys' Philip was the more emotional character who wanted to defect in the first season. Randee Dawn, latimes.com, "'The Americans' stars reflect on the series' end and the new demonization of Russians," 24 May 2018 Nearly 20 North Korean diplomats have defected to South Korea in unpublicized incidents, according to Mr. Kang, who was a high-level defector. Andrew Jeong, WSJ, "North Korean Diplomat in Rome Disappears," 3 Jan. 2019 Several big-name Facebookers have recently defected including Cher, Elon Musk, Will Ferrell and Steve Wozniak. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "What's at stake for Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg as he testifies before Congress," 10 Apr. 2018 Gurriel starred as a third baseman in Cuba before defecting to the United States in 2016. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros' Yuli Gurriel showing adept ability to scoop at first base," 16 June 2018

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

18 May 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)

formal : 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 How to pronounce defect (audio) , 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 How to pronounce defect (audio) , di-ˈ How to pronounce defect (audio) \

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 How to pronounce defect (audio) \

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 How to pronounce defective (audio) \ 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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