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

But because of a design defect, every once in a while the system would bombard the computer with unnecessary requests. Stephen Witt, WIRED, "Apollo 11: Mission Out of Control," 24 June 2019 Doros said that the company’s machine learning depends on pattern matching coupled with deep neural nets to classify wafer defects, which in turn allows the company to intelligently grade its production output. Wayne Rash, Ars Technica, "Manufacturing memory means scribing silicon in a sea of sensors," 21 June 2019 The symptoms and effects, which can include heart defects, learning disabilities, hearing loss and cleft palate, involve different parts of the body and vary in severity. Kimberly Fornek, chicagotribune.com, "Hinsdale 13-year-old hopes to be a Special Olympics equestrian and a mermaid ambassador," 17 June 2019 The lobster’s blue coloring is a genetic defect, with only one in every 2 million creatures that color, MassLive.com reported. Fox News, "Rare blue lobster heading to aquarium, spared by Massachusetts seafood restaurant," 15 June 2019 Of the 325 properties found to have defects, 145 homeowners fixed the issue on their own with Precision Paving awarded the contract to fix 180 properties. John Benson, cleveland.com, "North Olmsted targeting tripping hazards with 2019 sidewalk program," 12 June 2019 Their disease was driven by a genetic defect that has become a landmark in medicine: the Philadelphia chromosome. Marie Mccullough, https://www.inquirer.com, "How conquering a rare leukemia in children revolutionized cancer care for millions," 6 June 2019 And most of the JLTV’s defects, such as the brake issue, don’t sound particularly difficult to fix. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Pentagon Report Slams Military’s Humvee Replacement," 25 Feb. 2019 Rather than correcting those defects, recent governments have cracked down ineptly. The Economist, "Mexico’s murder rate heads for a new record," 5 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Hifter, who served as a military officer under Gadhafi before defecting in the 1980s, has presented himself as a strong leader who can unify the country. Washington Post, "In Libya, a rogues’ gallery of militias," 3 July 2019 One by one, manufacturers that specialized for the better part of a century in premium sports cars and chauffeured saloons have bowed to recent pressure to keep customers who want taller vehicles from defecting to rival brands. Jaclyn Trop, Fortune, "The Rolls-Royce Cullinan Is a Diamond Designed for Rough Terrain," 22 June 2019 Still, in 1978 when Mikhail Baryshnikov, recently defected from the USSR, briefly joined the New York City Ballet, Balanchine again reached for this old dance and gave the young dancer the Prodigal role. Jennifer Homans, The New York Review of Books, "Balanchine at the Crossroads," 17 Jan. 2019 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

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

13 Jul 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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