de·​fec·​tion | \ di-ˈfek-shən How to pronounce defection (audio) \

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 Almost all of the incentives for an asymptomatic person are aligned to encourage defection. Gideon Lewis-kraus, Wired, "How to Make Government Trustworthy Again," 18 June 2020 Religious conservatives who helped elect Mr Trump and were cheered by his Supreme Court picks are shocked by Justice Gorsuch’s defection from the cause. The Economist, "LGBT rights America’s Supreme Court protects LGBT workers against discrimination," 18 June 2020 Hernandez’s defection from Cuba to the U.S. and the major leagues. Christian Red And Teri Thompson, USA TODAY, "In Latin America, big league clubs are exploiting prospects as young as 12, whistleblower told feds," 17 June 2020 The opposition used a growing dissent within the government and caused a defection, with Sirisena breaking away from government and successfully contesting Mahinda Rajapaksa in the 2015 election. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Sri Lanka to hold presidential election on Nov. 16," 18 Sep. 2019 While the 59-41 vote won’t have immediate policy impact, the magnitude of the 12 GOP defections is a warning about the needless harm Mr. Trump is doing to himself and his party. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump Loses the Senate," 14 Mar. 2019 Under Senate rules, nominees like Judge Walker can be advanced and confirmed through simple majority votes, meaning Democrats could not block him without defections by majority Republicans. Carl Hulse, New York Times, "Democrats Press Judicial Nominee, a McConnell Protégé, on Health Care Views," 6 May 2020 If accurate, that would represent a slightly larger defection than occurred after the bitter battle between Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016, when 12% of Sanders voters broke for Trump in the general election. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "Poll: 15% of Sanders supporters will vote for Trump if Biden is nominee; 80% would back Biden," 29 Mar. 2020 Hubbard seemed like a likely NFL defection after rushing for a nation-leading 2,094 yards, especially given the short shelf life of NFL running backs. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "Several Texas schools take hard hits after NFL draft early entries announced," 22 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for defection

Time Traveler

The first known use of defection was in 1532

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Statistics for defection

Last Updated

26 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Defection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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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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