defection

noun
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

With only 51 Republican senators, their defections could doom a nominee. David Lauter, latimes.com, "Republican tenacity, focus and luck have cemented a conservative majority on the Supreme Court," 29 June 2018 Showing how high-profile Dunkin’s feud with Democrats became, his defection earned him a public rebuke by then-President Barack Obama during a 2016 speech on bipartisanship at the Illinois Capitol. Monique Garcia, chicagotribune.com, "Rauner appoints key Democratic ally and Madigan foil to $70,000 job," 18 May 2018 Her defection, and others like it, convinced gang leaders in El Salvador that women couldn’t be trusted and led to a ban on new female members. Michael E. Miller, Washington Post, "‘Heinous and violent’: MS-13’s appeal to girls grows as gang becomes ‘Americanized’," 7 May 2018 But Manchin, Heitkamp and Donnelly voted to confirm Gorsuch along with 51 Republicans last year, and potentially could offset any GOP defections. Brooke Singman, Fox News, "Supreme Court battle: Conservative group vows to spend $10M backing Trump pick," 10 July 2018 If McCain were to miss the vote, only one GOP defection would be needed to block the nomination if all Democrats were opposed. Kevin Freking, chicagotribune.com, "What to expect in the Supreme Court confirmation battle," 9 July 2018 If McCain were to miss the vote, only one GOP defection would be needed to block the nomination if all Democrats were opposed. Kevin Freking, The Seattle Times, "What to expect in the Supreme Court confirmation battle," 9 July 2018 And with the ailing Arizona Sen. John McCain away from Washington, any GOP defections could begin to imperil a nominee. Catherine Lucey, Washington Post, "Trump mulls Supreme Court choice from 2 or 3 candidates," 7 July 2018 And with the ailing Arizona Sen. John McCain away from Washington, any GOP defections could begin to doom a nominee. Catherine Lucey, Zeke Miller And Ken Thomas, Houston Chronicle, "Trump weighs 2 or 3 candidates for court, to meet with Pence," 6 July 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

21 Oct 2018

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The first known use of defection was in 1532

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