defective

adjective
de·​fec·​tive | \ di-ˈfek-tiv \

Definition of defective

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : imperfect in form or function : faulty replaced a defective light switch
b : falling below the norm in structure or in mental or physical function defective eyesight a defective gene
2 grammar : lacking one or more of the usual forms of inflection (see inflection sense 3) Must is a defective verb.

defective

noun

Definition of defective (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who is subnormal physically or mentally

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from defective

Adjective

defectively adverb
defectiveness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for defective

Synonyms: Adjective

amiss, bad, faulty, flawed, imperfect

Antonyms: Adjective

faultless, flawless, impeccable, perfect

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of defective in a Sentence

Adjective

This computer is defective. I want my money back. The disease is caused by a defective gene.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Some car makers, such as Honda Motor Co. , have stepped up their efforts in the wake of large-scale recalls, including replacing millions of Takata Corp.’s defective air bags world-wide. Andrea Fuller And, WSJ, "Car Makers’ Struggles With Recalls Leave More Risky Vehicles on the Road," 1 Nov. 2018 Various lawsuits are pending in U.S. courts against Takata, including several class action lawsuits that allege automakers knew about the dangers of the defective air bags ahead of the recalls. Yuri Kageyama, USA TODAY, "Japanese air bag-maker Takata acquired by Key Safety Systems, president resigns," 12 Apr. 2018 All defective Takata air bags are under recall and will be replaced for free. CBS News, "Takata air bags recall expands to 3.3 million vehicles," 7 Jan. 2018 It's backed by the Good Housekeeping Seal, too, so if your product ends up being defective within two years of buying, Good Housekeeping will send you a full refund. Sarah Bogdan, Good Housekeeping, "These Top 5 Canister Vacuums Are Pros at Cleaning Tough-to-Reach Places," 14 Dec. 2018 Even so, until the 1990s, notes Ashish Jha of Harvard University, harm done to patients was often blamed on doctors, not defective health-care systems. The Economist, "Hospitals are learning from industry how to cut medical errors," 28 June 2018 Ford Motor said Thursday a second death in a 2006 Ranger pickup truck was caused by a defective Takata airbag. Kirsten Korosec, Fortune, "Why Ford Wants Owners to Immediately Stop Driving Their 2006 Ford Rangers," 11 Jan. 2018 Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times relayed the sad tale of a defective Furby that could do nothing but beg for food and hugs. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "Furby hell: this week in tech, 20 years ago," 24 Nov. 2018 Costs from recalls and litigation related to defective air-bag inflators made by Japanese supplier Takata Corp. fell, helping lift its bottom line, Honda said. Yuri Kageyama, The Seattle Times, "Honda reports rise in profit on cost cuts, healthy sales," 30 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'defective.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of defective

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

circa 1591, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for defective

Adjective

Middle English defectif, defectyve "lacking, faulty, of poor quality," borrowed from Anglo-French defectif, borrowed from Late Latin dēfectīvus "lacking an inflectional form, imperfect, faulty," from Latin dēfectus, past participle of dēficere "to be lacking, run short, fail" + -īvus -ive — more at deficient

Noun

derivative of defective entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about defective

Statistics for defective

Last Updated

12 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for defective

The first known use of defective was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for defective

defective

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of defective

: having a problem or fault that prevents something from working correctly : having a defect or flaw

defective

adjective
de·​fec·​tive | \ di-ˈfek-tiv \

Kids Definition of defective

: having a defect or flaw The car's brakes were defective.

defective

adjective
de·​fec·​tive | \ di-ˈfek-tiv \

Medical Definition of defective

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: falling below the norm in structure or in mental or physical function defective eyesight

Other Words from defective

defectiveness \ -​nəs \ noun

defective

noun

Medical Definition of defective (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that is subnormal physically or mentally

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on defective

What made you want to look up defective? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by fawning attentiveness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!