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

There are few signs of broad defections from the GOP, especially among Arizona's Republican contingent. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "Rep. Ruben Gallego calls for Donald Trump impeachment inquiry," 11 July 2019 Despite a colossal defection of people, industries, and capital during the past half-century, there remains an indomitable spirit in this lakefront city that refuses to become irrelevant. Phillip Morris,, "All-Star Game gives nation a new look at Cleveland’s grit, relevance: Phillip Morris," 7 July 2019 The defections are mostly occurring in suburban areas of the U.S., or areas that are considered less reliable as either a Republican or Democratic stronghold. John Sharp,, "‘Absurdities’ or ‘political survival’: Why Alabama continues to experience party switches," 7 July 2019 The defection of Global Campaign who defeated Belmont Stakes winner Sir Winston in the May 11 Peter Pan at Belmont Park, leaves Long Range Toddy as the only other prominent runner in the 1 1/8 mile Ohio Derby. Bob Roberts,, "Preakness placer Owendale favored in 2019 Ohio Derby," 20 June 2019 North Korea is highly sensitive about defections and often accuses South Korea of enticing its citizens to defect, something the South denies. Washington Post, "Seoul: 2 North Korean fishermen defect to South Korea," 19 June 2019 North Korea is highly sensitive about defections and often accuses South Korea of enticing its citizens to defect, something the South denies., "Pair of North Korean fishermen defect to South Korea," 18 June 2019 The Ducks wasn’t quite up to overall standards set in recent seasons, but probably better than anyone had a right to expect given offseason turnover on the coaching staff and the defection of some top-level athletes., "Cravon Gillespie, Jessica Hull and Chaquinn Cook honored with UO awards: Oregon track & field rundown," 15 June 2019 Concerns about such defections cropped up again this week when an invitation to a $5,400-per-couple Bredesen fund-raiser hosted by the widow of the former Nashville Republican powerhouse Ted Welch began circulating among Republicans. Jonathan Martin, New York Times, "Corker Reconsiders Retirement, but He Must Win Over Trump to Do It," 13 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

15 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for defection

The first known use of defection was in 1532

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More from Merriam-Webster on defection

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with defection

Spanish Central: Translation of defection

Nglish: Translation of defection for Spanish Speakers

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something desired as essential

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