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 Weeks and then months pass in a torpor of cabin fever and green screens, and arguably things happen — a defection, a few infections, a sudden act of surprisingly squishy violence. Leah Greenblatt,, 1 Apr. 2022 The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the widening cracks in healthcare’s foundation, and accelerated the spread of disillusionment, and defection, among its workforce. Stephen Thomas, Forbes, 19 Jan. 2022 The low defection rate may be a factor in AT&T’s decision. Scott Moritz, Fortune, 3 May 2022 Though Democrats can push Jackson through without any Republican support, just one defection would sink that method, unless a member of the GOP hops on board. Brigid Kennedy, The Week, 25 Mar. 2022 Ruffo wrote in his diaries about alleged connections to a Soviet computer engineer whose defection was sought after by U.S. Officials. Bytonya Simpson,matt Cullinan,ivan Pereira, ABC News, 24 Mar. 2022 Freeman's defection from Atlanta came despite multiple teammates grabbing a microphone at the team's World Series celebration and imploring management to re-sign Freeman. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 17 Mar. 2022 Any individual defection isn’t likely to cause a great deal of immediate harm. New York Times, 15 Mar. 2022 With Lieutenant Governor Winsome Sears serving as Senate president, Republicans will only need one Democratic defection to pass legislation with Sears’s tie-breaking vote. The Editors, National Review, 19 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of defection was in 1532

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Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Defection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on defection

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Nglish: Translation of defection for Spanish Speakers


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