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

The end result is that hundreds of parts sent to customers were defective, causing untold billions in damage. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Says Two of Its Rockets Failed Because of Metals Fraud," 1 May 2019 Rachel Rothman, Chief Technologist at the Good Housekeeping Institute, explains that the root cause behind hoverboard explosions is usually defective lithium ion batteries. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "First Hoverboard Fatality in U.S. Claims the Life of a Three-Year-Old," 13 Mar. 2017 In a statement to Popular Mechanics, American Airlines stressed the groundings were strictly precautionary, and noted that only two aircraft were found to have defective overhead compartments. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "American Airlines Grounded 14 Planes For Overhead Bin Issues—But a Union Official Says There's More to It," 8 Mar. 2019 More broadly, Russia must demilitarize its consciousness, recognizing that the logic of war is defective and archaic and that modern problems are more often solved through battles of ideas. Konstantin Dobrynin, WSJ, "Russia’s Future Is Rapped in an Enigma," 14 Jan. 2019 In each of those instances, inspectors found defective fasteners, the mechanism that helps keep the steel rails stable and fixed to the ground. Martine Powers, Washington Post, "New federal inspection reports find old Metro problems persist," 24 May 2018 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

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

21 May 2019

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 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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Comments on defective

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