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 \

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

Fox has sued the condo association several times, mostly regarding a history of construction defects at the complex, called the Hamptons at MetroWest. Paul Brinkmann, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Sheriff's office seizes property of MetroWest man who challenged condo association," 30 May 2018 The clothes, meanwhile, are very Run Lola Run meets The Matrix: functional silhouettes tweaked just so, with detailing inspired by the idea of production defects. Liz Raiss, GQ, "Alexander Wang and Adidas Are Back from the Future," 14 May 2018 Get your history fix in one place: sign up for the weekly TIME History newsletter In reality, definitions of defects were elastic — shifting with time, place and actors. Edith Sheffer, Time, "Asperger's Syndrome, the Nazi Regime and the Dangerous Power of Labeling People," 26 Apr. 2018 Mexico City Mayor Jose Ramon Amieva said the collapse occurred in an area of offices, and experts were investigating whether the collapse of the cantilevered area was because of structural defects or soil settling. Frank Miles, Fox News, "Controversial Mexico City shopping mall partially collapses," 12 July 2018 Democrats need every member of the caucus to stick together to have any chance of defeating Kavanaugh if Collins or Murkowski defects. Maureen Groppe, Indianapolis Star, "Barrett passed over for high court, but Donnelly still faces tough choice," 9 July 2018 Other experts inspected tree parts and found that none had rot, defects, disease or pest infestation. Kimberly Veklerov, San Francisco Chronicle, "Cal Fire releases details of probe into cause of Wine Country fires," 9 June 2018 The suit cites design defects and that the companies failed to provide necessary and adequate information and made misrepresentations about their products. Mark Gokavi, ajc, "Dad of late ex-Ohio high school football player sues helmet makers," 2 June 2018 The Hamptons at Metrowest, a sprawling condo complex with 700 units, is still blighted by moldy wood and faulty stucco years after the association there won a $20 million award in a construction defect lawsuit. Paul Brinkmann, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Sheriff's office seizes property of MetroWest man who challenged condo association," 30 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Israeli government declined to comment on the events outlined in the memoir by Mr. Thae, who defected to South Korea in 2016. Andrew Jeong, WSJ, "North Korean Ex-Diplomat Says Blackmail Is Part of Regime’s Playbook," 8 July 2018 On a conference call with investors and Wall Street analysts late Wednesday, Niccol laid out his plan to win back customers who defected in the last two years in the wake of food safety problems as well as boredom with the brand. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Chipotle Is Planning to Close Up to 65 Stores—But It Will Add a Happy Hour Menu," 28 June 2018 According to Ri Myung, a former top North Korean official who has defected to the South and uses an alias, all of North Korea’s latest maneuvers have been conducted by influential Workers Party organ the Organization and Guidance Department (OGD). Charlie Campbell / Beijing, Time, "All Signs Suggest North Korea's Kim Jong Un Really Wants to Make a Deal," 8 June 2018 Mahathir, Malaysia’s longest-serving premier, who defected to the opposition to take on Najib, will return to power at the age of 92. Bloomberg.com, "The Surprise Election Result That Marks a Historic Power Shift," 9 May 2018 He was picked in the fourth round, 74th overall, in 1989, and the Wings went to great lengths to help him defect, scurrying him away in 1990 when his CSKA Moscow team was in Portland, Ore., for a match before the Goodwill Games. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Should Detroit Red Wings retire Sergei Fedorov's No. 91? It's time.," 12 July 2018 This suggests that the 1 million voters who left the CDU/CSU and moved into the AfD’s camp between the federal elections of 2013 and 2017 largely defected because of Merkel’s ability to get her way on the refugee issue. Philipp Adorf, Washington Post, "Angela Merkel’s governing alliance is increasingly frayed. Here’s why.," 3 July 2018 Until Arnold defected, Washington always had a high opinion of him. John Williams, New York Times, "Tell Us 5 Things About Your Book: A Fresh Look at Benedict Arnold’s Treason," 24 June 2018 His mysterious disappearance during the Cold War spurred theories that he had been abducted by the Soviet Union or defected to what was then known as the USSR to work against the US. Dan Simon And Susannah Cullinane, CNN, "Neighbors of Cold War-era Air Force deserter knew him as 'Tim'," 12 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

21 Sep 2018

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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Comments on defect

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