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)

1 : an imperfection or abnormality that impairs quality, function, or utility : shortcoming, flaw carefully inspect a tire for defects examined the porcelain for defects a moral defect in his nature neural tube defects defects of metabolism
2 chemistry : an imperfection (such as a vacancy or an unlike atom) in a crystal lattice (see lattice sense 2)

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 The agency is investigating if the failures of the touchscreen are a defect. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "NHTSA Investigating Tesla Model S Touchscreen Unit Problems," 24 June 2020 Smidt said the defect was discovered after the initial recall investigation. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "Harbor Freight recalling more jack stands after 'welding defect' found in replacement stands," 8 July 2020 Gutierrez pleaded not guilty due to mental disease or defect in September. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "California woman who fatally stabbed a Grafton man has been found not guilty by reason of mental disease," 19 June 2020 The district attorney said initial findings show that Ambler told deputies of his heart defect and was not resisting arrest. NBC News, "Texas man who died after arrest told police 'I can't breathe'," 9 June 2020 Nissan has expanded a recall for its Altima sedan over a hood-latch defect, now including 2013 to 2018 models and bringing the total vehicles covered by the recall to more than 1.8 million. Colin Beresford, Car and Driver, "Nissan Recalls 1.8 Million Altima Sedans for Faulty Hood Latch," 5 June 2020 As Taymia, who has a double heart defect, grew weak and emaciated, lawyers and human rights groups took up her cause. Ben Hubbard, BostonGlobe.com, "Western countries leave children of ISIS in Syrian camps," 31 May 2020 Organizers will share the story of a child with a rare congenital heart defect that underscores the need for the fundraiser. Joan Rusek, cleveland, "Nature centers, campgrounds and park programs reopen: Valley Views," 9 June 2020 Just weeks before welcoming their newborn, the couple opened up in an emotional vlog about finding out that their baby on the way has the same congenital heart defect as Phil. Claudia Harmata, PEOPLE.com, "YouTubers Phil and Alex Congelliere Welcome a Daughter After Years of Infertility: 'What a Miracle'," 1 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Six percent of Biden supporters split their ticket and back Perdue, while 2 percent of Trump backers defect to Ossoff. Fox News, "Fox News Poll: Trump and Biden in close race in Georgia," 25 June 2020 Irene Triplett, whose father Mose Triplett served in the Confederate Army before defecting and joining the Union, died Sunday at age 90, following complications from a broken hip. TheWeek, "Irene Triplett, the last American to receive a monthly Civil War pension, dies at 90," 5 June 2020 The only lingering question in its outcome is whether any Republican senators will defect and vote to convict Trump. Kerry Picket, Washington Examiner, "Trump acquittal to spur more House Democratic investigations," 3 Feb. 2020 Hifter, who was a military officer under Gadhafi before defecting in the 1980s, has presented himself as a strong leader who can unify the country. San Diego Union-Tribune, "AP Explains: Libya’s instability a focus of concern at UN," 25 Sep. 2019 Hifter, who was a military officer under Gadhafi before defecting in the 1980s, has presented himself as a strong leader who can unify the country. Washington Post, "AP Explains: Libya’s instability a focus of concern at UN," 25 Sep. 2019 The announcement came amid growing buzz that major agents were planning to defect and launch their own management companies, including Ari Greenburg, a partner and president of WME. Los Angeles Times, "Endeavor once ruled the agency business. Then came the pandemic and whispers about its future," 11 May 2020 Indian revolutionaries from America, Canada and Germany made their way to India in 1914 and contacted several army units across India and even in Singapore, with each agreeing to defect once called upon. Emiko Jozuka, CNN, "The Indian revolutionary who fought to overthrow British rule while living in Japan," 9 May 2020 YouGov’s data show that the few Leavers who backed the Lib Dems in 2017 largely plan to defect. The Economist, "Dual threat Voting Lib Dem could hurt the Tories as much as Labour," 7 Dec. 2019

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 1

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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Time Traveler for defect

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for defect

Last Updated

30 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Defect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/defect. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for defect

defect

noun
How to pronounce defect (audio) How to pronounce defect (audio)

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
How to pronounce defect (audio)

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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Comments on defect

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