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 defect (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 procedure was needed to fix an osteochondral defect, which is joint damage that involves both bone and cartilage. BostonGlobe.com, "UConn women’s basketball star Paige Bueckers undergoes ankle surgery," 1 May 2021 That's when doctors discovered a congenital spinal defect right where the football player drove his boot, and he was sent home with a medical discharge. Star Tribune, "Speedskater Robert Fitzgerald penned unparalleled comeback story," 10 Apr. 2021 Unfortunately, this issue wasn’t discovered by the company prior to rolling them out, and buyers stumbled upon the defect themselves. Mike Wehner, BGR, "This popular brand of ATVs is recalling its vehicles due to a crash hazard," 10 Mar. 2021 Nevertheless, an unpleasant cosmetic defect appeared on it, which from our point of view was caused by a bad / imperfect surface treatment. Jacob Siegal, BGR, "Apple fans are so angry about this iPhone 12 ‘defect’," 17 Mar. 2021 The catheters are used to enlarge an existing atrial septal defect as a treatment option for patients with cyanotic congenital heart defects. Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, "Medtronic catheter is recalled after one death, two injuries," 4 Nov. 2020 Feel for any defect that might help you, then get as much of your palm on the hold as possible. Jacqueline Detwiler-george, Popular Mechanics, "How to Get Started in Rock Climbing," 16 Mar. 2021 Among other assurances that the deal will close, many buyers are waiving the right to an inspection that gives them the opportunity to back out or renegotiate a deal if the house has an unknown or undisclosed defect. Jim Buchta, Star Tribune, "In risky move, buyers waive inspections in red hot Twin Cities home market," 13 Mar. 2021 There was a concern at one point that Elizabeth had major heart disease or defect, which would have significantly complicated the separation possibility. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "‘God has sort of been preparing us for this:’ Alabama pastor, wife await birth of conjoined twins," 24 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb About 1,000 North Koreans defect to South Korea every year, according to tallies made public by Seoul’s Unification Ministry, which oversees North Korea policies. Andrew Jeong, WSJ, "Another North Korean Diplomat Defects to South Korea," 25 Jan. 2021 Rene Pozo, who was born in Cuba and lives in City Heights, spent most of the game screaming for the Cuban team but between innings speculated that Cuba didn’t send its best players for fear that some would defect. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: The inaugural World Baseball Classic was held in San Diego 15 years ago," 19 Mar. 2021 The next day, during a baseball game at Bush Stadium, Cuban-American protesters taunted Cuban players, tossing leaflets and offering cash to defect. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, "Before Indianapolis saved the NCAA tournament, the city rescued the 1987 Pan Am Games," 18 Mar. 2021 That means the costs of grid upgrades will be spread among fewer households, particularly those that can’t afford to defect (although most US households are likely to remain on the traditional grid for the next couple of decades). Tim Mcdonnell, Quartz, "Who should pay to fix the electric grid?," 26 Feb. 2021 Among those trusting Fox News, 41% would defect to the Trump Party and 28% would pick the Republican Party with a sizeable 31% undecided and torn. David Paleologos, USA TODAY, "Paleologos on the Poll: Move over Fox News, Trump voters are shifting toward Newsmax, OANN," 21 Feb. 2021 North Korean troops fatally shot a South Korean government officialwho may haveattempted to defect and set his body on fire, Seoul says. Ashley Shaffer, USA TODAY, "120 days of protests in Louisville," 24 Sep. 2020 For years, former colleagues said, there were rumors that Jassy might defect to a digital music service. al, "Amazon’s new CEO Andy Jassy in ‘hot seat’ as Alabama workers consider union," 7 Feb. 2021 Another factor could be Mr. Tae’s success in South Korea, which may have inspired other senior diplomats to defect, said Jean H. Lee, the director of the Korea program at the Wilson Center, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington. Andrew Jeong, WSJ, "Another North Korean Diplomat Defects to South Korea," 25 Jan. 2021

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

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Defect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/defect. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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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 defect (audio) \ adjective
defectively adverb
defectiveness noun

Comments on defect

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