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)

1a : an imperfection that impairs worth or utility : shortcoming the grave defects in our foreign policy A defect prevented the DVD from playing properly.
b chemistry : an imperfection (such as a vacancy or an unlike atom) in a crystal lattice (see lattice sense 2)
2 : a lack of something necessary for completeness, adequacy, or perfection : deficiency a hearing defect

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

Common risk factors include congenital heart defects, sickle-cell disease, clotting, or immune disorders; Hudson had none of those. Kerry Cromwell, Good Housekeeping, "My Little Boy Was Just 7 Years Old When He Had a Catastrophic Stroke," 26 July 2018 Metro officials did not take the tracks out of service or impose speed restrictions — despite the fact that FTA inspectors had classified them as critical safety defects in need of urgent repair. Martine Powers, Washington Post, "New federal inspection reports find old Metro problems persist," 24 May 2018 What this means to you: Battery recalls do happen, because of errors in the manufacturing process or other defects. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "HP recalls 78,500 more laptop batteries because of fire concerns," 13 Mar. 2019 As of December, the agency had 36 investigations open into the effectiveness of recalls and possible safety defects. Tom Krisher, The Seattle Times, "Driver hurt by air bag shrapnel as investigation drags on," 20 Feb. 2019 Some antipsychotics are linked with metabolic side effects such as weight gain and increased glucose levels, which can then increase the risk for issues like neural tube defects, the review explains. Korin Miller, SELF, "What to Know About Getting Pregnant If You Take Antipsychotics," 17 Jan. 2019 The defect, which the company said appeared in late December, involved the Forester, Impreza and Crosstrek models, but production was halted for other models as well because they are assembled... Chieko Tsuneoka, WSJ, "Subaru Restarts Japan Production After Defect Prompted Shutdown," 28 Jan. 2019 The sensor was apparently damaged during assembly, and Roscosmos found that two additional Soyuz rockets might have had the same defect. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Three astronauts will launch to space on Monday — two months after botched flight," 2 Dec. 2018 Maquet denied the claim and said hers was the only death linked to the defect. Dave Collins, The Seattle Times, "Medical device maker settles suit over psychologist’s death," 14 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Related The beer company also has stepped up its efforts to woo consumers defecting to wine and cocktails. Jennifer Maloney, WSJ, "As Americans Drink Less Alcohol, Booze Makers Look Beyond the Barrel," 17 Jan. 2019 Lopez Obrador's Morena party is also polling strongly in congressional contests, and that -- coupled with the likelihood of lawmakers defecting to the winning side -- puts a working majority within reach. Nacha Cattan And Justin Villamil, Houston Chronicle, "Expect Lopez Obrador, foe of Mexico's energy reforms, to win presidency," 15 May 2018 The civil rights movement sorted black voters into the Democratic Party and pushed racially conservative white Southerners to defect to the GOP. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The 9 thinkers who made sense of 2018’s chaos," 27 Dec. 2018 Meanwhile, Rhys' Philip was the more emotional character who wanted to defect in the first season. Randee Dawn, latimes.com, "'The Americans' stars reflect on the series' end and the new demonization of Russians," 24 May 2018 Nearly 20 North Korean diplomats have defected to South Korea in unpublicized incidents, according to Mr. Kang, who was a high-level defector. Andrew Jeong, WSJ, "North Korean Diplomat in Rome Disappears," 3 Jan. 2019 Several big-name Facebookers have recently defected including Cher, Elon Musk, Will Ferrell and Steve Wozniak. Mike Snider, USA TODAY, "What's at stake for Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg as he testifies before Congress," 10 Apr. 2018 Gurriel starred as a third baseman in Cuba before defecting to the United States in 2016. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros' Yuli Gurriel showing adept ability to scoop at first base," 16 June 2018 That was meant to send a chilling message to others who would think of defecting to, or informing, the West. Ellen Barry And David E. Sanger, New York Times, "Poisoned Door Handle Hints at High-Level Plot to Kill Spy, U.K. Officials Say," 1 Apr. 2018

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 2

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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Statistics for defect

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for defect

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

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More Definitions for defect

defect

noun

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

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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More from Merriam-Webster on defect

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with defect

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for defect

Spanish Central: Translation of defect

Nglish: Translation of defect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of defect for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about defect

Comments on defect

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