defective

1 of 2

adjective

de·​fec·​tive di-ˈfek-tiv How to pronounce defective (audio)
1
a
: having a defect or flaw : imperfect in form, structure, or function
replaced a defective light switch
products manufactured with defective materials
defective intestinal absorption
a defective gene
b
dated, now offensive : having a physical or mental impairment
2
grammar : lacking one or more of the usual forms of inflection (see inflection sense 2)
Must is a defective verb.
defectively adverb
defectiveness noun

defective

2 of 2

noun

1
: something that is imperfect in form, structure, or function
… if we examine 18 items off the production line, we may be interested in the number of defectives we observe in the sample of size 18.Lloyd Jaisingh
2
dated, now offensive : a person having a physical or mental impairment

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
In a statement to Digital Trends, LG said the LED TVs, which weigh up to 101.2 pounds with stands, aren't defective on their own. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 13 Jan. 2023 Jurors in Gwinnett County, northeast of Atlanta, returned the verdict in the years-long civil case involving what the plaintiffs’ lawyers called dangerously defective roofs on Ford pickup trucks, lawyer James Butler Jr. said. Los Angeles Times, 22 Aug. 2022 The court orders that this AI driving system is entirely defective and should no longer exist. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 13 Mar. 2022 As of right now, substitutions are only allowed for essential items, and all sales are final unless a product is damaged or defective. Quincy Bulin, Better Homes & Gardens, 27 Oct. 2021 The first trial in one of the largest U.S. mass torts ever kicks off Monday with 3M defending itself against claims that its Combat Arms earplugs were knowingly defective, harming the hearing of tens of thousands of soldiers. Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune, 28 Mar. 2021 The hope is that this approach will provide new olfactory receptor neurons for people whose own have been permanently damaged or defective since birth. Emma Young, Discover Magazine, 3 Aug. 2015 Overheated or defective batteries can catch fire or even explode, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Kerry Breen, CBS News, 21 Jan. 2023 Those factories could provide the recyclers with a great deal of defective or excess battery material, particularly in their early years. Kellen Browning, New York Times, 21 Dec. 2022
Noun
After two replacement phones (one defective, the next meant for another customer and locked) and 15 different Apple customer service representatives, Holland, a publicist in Wilmington, N.C., searched online for Jobs’s email address. Washington Post, 23 Feb. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'defective.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Adjective

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

Noun

1562, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near defective

Cite this Entry

“Defective.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/defective. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

defective

adjective
de·​fec·​tive
di-ˈfek-tiv
: lacking something essential : faulty
defective brakes
defectively adverb
defectiveness noun

Medical Definition

defective

adjective
de·​fec·​tive di-ˈfek-tiv How to pronounce defective (audio)
: falling below the norm in structure or function
a defective heart valve
defectiveness noun

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