defective

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

Definition of defective

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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.

defective

noun

Definition of defective (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from defective

Adjective

defectively adverb
defectiveness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for defective

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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 Texas nursing homes are still reporting defective shipments of PPE from the federal government. Olga Khazan, The Atlantic, "The U.S. Is Repeating Its Deadliest Pandemic Mistake," 6 July 2020 Federal safety officials are probing allegations of defective cooling systems installed in early-model Tesla vehicles. Los Angeles Times, "Tesla battery cooling system is subject of federal safety probe," 1 July 2020 Fuentes’ firm has offered to replace any defective masks, Keime said. Yeganeh Torbati, ProPublica, "The Indian Health Service Wants to Return 1 Million KN95 Masks It Bought From a Former White House Official," 25 June 2020 Honda has issued a worldwide recall for about 1.4 million vehicles fitted with a defective fuel pump. Laura Sky Brown, Car and Driver, "Honda, Acura Recalling Nearly 140,000 2018–2019 Vehicles for Fuel-Pump Problem," 3 June 2020 The federal government is shipping two weeks' worth of protective equipment to every nursing home in the country, but some of the equipment has been shoddy and defective, according to multiple reports and industry groups. NBC News, "As the coronavirus surges in Oklahoma, rising fears of outbreaks in nursing homes," 18 June 2020 Some people never got their ballots; some received defective ballots, and some precincts had trouble... The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Georgia’s Primary Fiasco," 12 June 2020 Ford will replace defective latches free of charge. Colin Beresford, Car and Driver, "Ford Recalls 2.2 Million Vehicles Again Due to Faulty Door Latch," 11 June 2020 In certain product liability cases, this is not such a hard standard – if 100,000 people buy a defective product, the claims are pretty much the same. Jack Greiner, Cincinnati.com, "Strictly Legal: Minnesota class action seeks to protect journalists," 10 June 2020

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

1562, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Time Traveler for defective

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for defective

Last Updated

9 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Defective.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/defective. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for defective

defective

adjective
How to pronounce defective (audio)

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

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

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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!