de·​fec·​tion | \di-ˈfek-shən \

Definition of defection 

: 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

The Democratic defections over to the side of Proposition 6 come not only as more and more Californians voice their displeasure at the gas tax, but as the party has already faced setbacks over the gas tax hike. Andrew O'reilly, Fox News, "California Democrats defecting to support GOP-led ballot measure to repeal gas tax hike," 24 Sep. 2018 And in Europe, budget lines like Ryanair are seeing a similar rate of defections. Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler, "How the Pilot Shortage Could Change the Way We Fly," 21 Aug. 2018 This offseason’s toughest defection is Landry, who was this franchise’s tone-setter and the best draft pick since Hall of Fame defensive end Jason Taylor was selected in the third round of the 1997 draft. Omar Kelly,, "Kelly: Dolphins are building a roster with better depth, but where is the game-changing talent? | Commentary," 16 Mar. 2018 Republicans’ thin majority in the Senate at large gives the GOP very little room for defections. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Committee advances Kavanaugh nomination in party-line vote, as Flake seeks delay," 29 Sep. 2018 But Solder’s defection puts the franchise in the most precarious of situations. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Is 'The Patriot Way' about to get in the Patriots' way as key players depart?," 14 Mar. 2018 With only 51 in a 100-member body – and with a strategy that depends heavily on Republican unity – even one defection or absence can upset the apple cart. Francine Kiefer, The Christian Science Monitor, "A taciturn tactician, McConnell’s leadership draws respect – and ire," 12 June 2018 But Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota are presidential battlegrounds, where even a small defection of farmers could doom Mr. Trump’s re-election prospects. James B. Stewart, New York Times, "Why Trump Might Cave to China: Iowa Soybean Farmers," 7 June 2018 There was one major defection with setup man Brandon Morrow leaving as a free agent to join the Chicago Cubs, but most of the key members of the bullpen return. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "Dodgers offseason report: Quiet winter, yet still powerful club," 21 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'defection.' 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 defection

1532, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for defection

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

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Statistics for defection

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for defection

The first known use of defection was in 1532

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with defection

Spanish Central: Translation of defection

Nglish: Translation of defection for Spanish Speakers

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