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

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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

The Outline’s Casey Johnson was among the first to report the issue of sticky keys, which Apple attributed to dust under the keyboards, and a few class-action lawsuits were filed over the allegedly defective equipment. Lauren Goode, WIRED, "Apple's MacBook Pros Get Faster Chips, New Keyboards (Kinda)," 12 July 2018 This confirmed in the public mind that all those swept up in such indiscriminate mass institutionalization were equally morally defective. Patrick Mcgrath, New York Times, "A Dumping Ground for the Poor, the Criminal and the Mad," 28 June 2018 If Uber’s vehicle was defective or its testing program was unreasonably dangerous in any respect that caused the crash, Uber is legally responsible for her wrongful death. Mark Geistfeld, Time, "Why the Next Person Hit by a Driverless Car Might Not Be Able to Sue," 30 Mar. 2018 The law says that people who have been determined to be mentally defective may be reported to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security or the FBI, not to local sheriffs or police. Anita Wadhwani, USA TODAY, "History of red flags didn't keep guns out of hands of Waffle House shooting suspect," 25 Apr. 2018 Sullivan will be charged with identifying and correcting defective procedures and policies. Kathleen Megan, courant.com, "CCSU Investigation Finds Mishandling of Sexual Assault Complaint Against CCSU Police Officer; Chief Administrative Officer Placed On Leave," 22 June 2018 In Hertzberg’s case, at least according to the initial police report, a defective sensor or computer doesn’t appear to have caused the car or its operator to lose control or otherwise cause the crash. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Can You Sue a Robocar?," 20 Mar. 2018 Sauda Suleiman Amour, 19, was born with a defective abdominal wall that caused her liver and a part of her intestine to stick out of her abdomen. Fox News, "Doctors save teen who lived with organs outside body for 19 years," 18 June 2018 California has the highest number of defective airbags. CBS News, "Drivers urged to fix recalled Takata airbags that can explode," 12 June 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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Statistics for defective

Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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 \

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

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Comments on defective

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