defective

adjective
de·​fec·​tive | \ di-ˈfek-tiv How to pronounce defective (audio) \

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

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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

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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

More than 7 million of the defective inflators remained unrepaired after that deadline, according to the agency. BostonGlobe.com, "AAA predicts 37 million will take to the road for Memorial Day," 16 May 2018 Takata went into rehabilitation proceedings last year, slammed by the massive costs and sales damage from defective Takata air bag inflators, which can explode with too much force and spew shrapnel at a vehicle’s drivers and passengers. Yuri Kageyama, USA TODAY, "Japanese air bag-maker Takata acquired by Key Safety Systems, president resigns," 12 Apr. 2018 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

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.

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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

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Last Updated

26 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for defective

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

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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 How to pronounce defective (audio) \

Kids Definition of defective

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

defective

adjective
de·​fec·​tive | \ di-ˈfek-tiv How to pronounce defective (audio) \

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 How to pronounce defectiveness (audio) \ noun

defective

noun

Medical Definition of defective (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that is subnormal physically or mentally

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