de·​fec·​tion di-ˈfek-shən How to pronounce defection (audio)
: conscious abandonment of allegiance or duty (as to a person, cause, or doctrine) : desertion

Examples of defection in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But the Dolphins did sign seven veteran defensive lineman to help address the free agent defection that Christian Wilkins and Raekwon Davis made when Wilkins signed with the Las Vegas Raiders and Davis signed with the Indianapolis Colts. Omar Kelly, Miami Herald, 15 May 2024 But the question remains as to whether even a small number of defections from Biden would be enough to sink him in swing states like Michigan and Wisconsin, which saw protest votes against his handling of Israel's war in Gaza in those states' Democratic primaries. Alexandra Hutzler, ABC News, 9 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for defection 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'defection.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Latin dēfectiōn-, dēfectiō "falling short, failure, abandonment of allegiance," from dēficere "to be lacking, fail, become disaffected, go over (to the side of an opponent)" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at deficient

First Known Use

1532, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of defection was in 1532

Dictionary Entries Near defection

Cite this Entry

“Defection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2024.

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