defect

noun
de·​fect | \ ˈdē-ˌfekt How to pronounce defect (audio) , di-ˈfekt How to pronounce defect (audio) \

Definition of defect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an imperfection or abnormality that impairs quality, function, or utility : shortcoming, flaw carefully inspect a tire for defects examined the porcelain for defects a moral defect in his nature neural tube defects defects of metabolism
2 chemistry : an imperfection (such as a vacancy or an unlike atom) in a crystal lattice (see lattice sense 2)

defect

verb
de·​fect | \ di-ˈfekt How to pronounce defect (audio) \
defected; defecting; defects

Definition of defect (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to forsake one cause, party, or nation for another often because of a change in ideology a former KGB agent who defected to America
2 : to leave one situation (such as a job) often to go over to a rival the reporter defected to another network

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Other Words from defect

Verb

defector \ di-​ˈfek-​tər How to pronounce defector (audio) \ noun

Examples of defect in a Sentence

Noun They examine their products for defects. She was born with a heart defect. Vanity and pride were his two worst character defects. Verb The Russian scholar defected in 1979. She defected from the conservative party. He defected to the West before the war began. The reporter defected to another TV network.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The hospital said Tinslee was born prematurely with a rare heart defect and suffers from chronic lung disease and severe chronic high blood pressure. USA TODAY, "‘Embracing tree,’ buffalo retirement, castaway cows: News from around our 50 states," 14 Nov. 2019 The hospital said Tinslee was born prematurely with a rare heart defect and suffers from chronic lung disease and severe chronic high blood pressure. Washington Post, "Spotlight on Texas’ ‘10-day rule’ in life support cases," 13 Nov. 2019 The hospital said Tinslee was born prematurely with a rare heart defect and suffers from chronic lung disease and severe chronic high blood pressure. CBS News, "Hospital's plan to take 9-month-old girl off life support puts spotlight on Texas' "10-day rule"," 13 Nov. 2019 In 1984, ‘‘Baby Fae,’’ a newborn with a severe heart defect, was given the heart of a baboon in an experimental transplant in Loma Linda, Calif. Baby Fae lived 21 days with the animal heart. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history - The Boston Globe," 26 Oct. 2019 Their daughter, born days after Duffy resigned, has a heart defect and Down syndrome. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Tony Evers sets special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy for May 12," 18 Oct. 2019 To reduce the risk of having a baby with a congenital heart defect, men should avoid drinking alcohol for at least six months prior to fertilization. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Researchers completely made up claim about men’s drinking before conception," 8 Oct. 2019 If the prospective dads were binge drinkers, which was defined as downing five or more drinks per session, there was a 52% higher likelihood their baby would have a congenital heart defect. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Dads-to-be should stop drinking 6 months before conception for baby's heart health, study says," 3 Oct. 2019 Redshirt freshman forward Shareef O’Neal also has the green light after undergoing surgery to correct a heart defect. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, "Lacking star player for now, Mick Cronin says depth will be UCLA’s ‘weapon’," 1 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In the city of Oruro, defecting policemen dispersed government supporters with tear gas, according to local media. New York Times, "Bolivian Leader Clings to Power as Police Join Protesters," 9 Nov. 2019 The fighters, some who seemed to have surrendered and some who perhaps had defected, resumed pacing the compound. David Zucchino, New York Times, "Captives or Defectors? Taliban Fighters Tell Conflicting Tales," 7 Nov. 2019 The answers allow them to predict if particular voters might defect from their stated choice. NBC News, "Yes, late-breaking and undecided voters do exist — and matter," 30 Oct. 2019 Muhammad Ajmal Omar told me that the Taliban had been unnerved by how many of their fighters had defected during the ceasefire, and Zubair confirmed that many of his comrades who went to Jalalabad that weekend were now pursuing lives as civilians. Luke Mogelson, The New Yorker, "The Shattered Afghan Dream of Peace," 21 Oct. 2019 After Kingsbury had defected, Helton had hired Graham Harrell, another Air Raid disciple. Tim Rohan, SI.com, "As Uncertainty Shrouds USC, the Trojans Are Weathering the Storm—For Now," 27 Sep. 2019 The Finns Party, formerly known as the True Finns, was in opposition for its first 20 years but won nearly 18% support in 2015 and was part of the government coalition until 2017, when a faction defected. Jari Tanner, The Seattle Times, "Finns to vote on how best to save their welfare state," 12 Apr. 2019 The decision on Tuesday, however, also raised the prospect that electors could legally defect at the last minute, and decide the occupant of the White House on their own in dramatic fashion, weeks after Election Day. Fox News, "Overstock CEO resigns amid ties to Russia probe, says he received 'fishy orders' from ex-FBI official Strzok," 23 Aug. 2019 But the story of South Station is also the story of all passenger railway stations in the United States: decline and disrepair post-World War II as travelers defected for automobiles and sprawling suburbs. Deanna Pan, BostonGlobe.com, "A day at South Station: A gateway to Boston, an intersection of many different lives," 17 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'defect.' 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 defect

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for defect

Noun

Middle English, borrowed from Latin dēfectus "failure, absence, lack, weakness," from dēficere "to be lacking, run short, weaken, fail" + -tus, suffix of action nouns — more at deficient

Verb

borrowed from Latin dēfectus, past participle of dēficere "to be lacking, fail, become disaffected, go over (to the side of an opponent)" — more at deficient

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Time Traveler for defect

Time Traveler

The first known use of defect was in the 15th century

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Statistics for defect

Last Updated

30 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Defect.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/defector?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=d&file=defect04. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for defect

defect

noun
How to pronounce defect (audio) How to pronounce defect (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of defect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a physical problem that causes something to be less valuable, effective, healthy, etc.
: something that causes weakness or failure

defect

verb
How to pronounce defect (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of defect (Entry 2 of 2)

formal : to leave a country, political party, organization, etc., and go to a different one that is a competitor or an enemy

defect

noun
de·​fect | \ ˈdē-ˌfekt How to pronounce defect (audio) , di-ˈfekt \

Kids Definition of defect

1 : something that makes a thing imperfect : flaw A slight defect lowered the diamond's value.
2 : a lack of something needed for perfection Doctors can correct the hearing defect.

defect

noun
de·​fect | \ ˈdē-ˌfekt How to pronounce defect (audio) , di-ˈ How to pronounce defect (audio) \

Medical Definition of defect

: a lack or deficiency of something necessary for adequacy in form or function a hearing defect

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defect

noun
de·​fect | \ ˈdē-ˌfekt, di-ˈfekt How to pronounce defect (audio) \

Legal Definition of defect

: something or a lack of something that results in incompleteness, inadequacy, or imperfection: as
a : a flaw in something (as a product) especially that creates an unreasonable risk of harm in its normal use — see also latent defect
b : an error or omission in a court document (as an indictment or pleading)
c : some imperfection in the chain of title to property that makes the title unmarketable

Other Words from defect

defective \ di-​ˈfek-​tiv How to pronounce defective (audio) \ adjective
defectively adverb
defectiveness noun

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Comments on defect

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