de·​for·​mi·​ty | \ di-ˈfȯr-mə-tē How to pronounce deformity (audio) , dē-\
plural deformities

Definition of deformity

1 : the state of being deformed
2 : imperfection, blemish: such as
a : a physical blemish or distortion : disfigurement
b : a moral or aesthetic flaw or defect

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Examples of deformity in a Sentence

a disease causing deformity of the spine a primitive culture that cast aside infants born with deformities, allowing them to die of exposure to the elements

Recent Examples on the Web

Earlier this year in Colombia, a woman was allowed to terminate a pregnancy at 32 weeks because the fetus had severe cranial deformities and microcephaly. Juan Carlos, Marie Claire, "This Is What a World Without Reproductive Rights Would Be Like," 25 Apr. 2016 Vincent was born with a congenital deformity that left him without rear tibias. Popular Mechanics, "Nothing Is Impossible for the Cat With 3D-Printed Legs," 8 Dec. 2015 Photo: Adrienne Grunwald for The Wall Street Journal In 2014, Mr. Levine developed Haglund’s deformity, a painful, bony enlargement on the heel that a specialist told him resulted from years of running on hard surfaces. Jen Murphy, WSJ, "A Run to Get a Buddy Back on Track," 28 Apr. 2018 The foot-long reptile, which is 10 months old, has two heads as a result of a genetic deformity affecting just one in 10,000 births. Fox News, "Rare two-headed snake discovered in backyard," 4 June 2018 Surgery is also sometimes (though rarely) warranted to remove a bone deformity or to loosen inflexible muscles. Markham Heid, Time, "You Asked: What’s the Best Way to Treat Plantar Fasciitis?," 27 June 2018 Without that function, the accumulation of carbohydrates in the cells leads to severe skeletal deformities, short stature and joint problems that can limit mobility and life span. Sophie Haigney, San Francisco Chronicle, "She wasn’t expected to live past 7. Saturday she graduates from college with honors," 8 June 2018 The extraordinary specimen could have been a previously unrecognized primate species, some sort of human deformity or something else entirely. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Researchers finally solve mystery of 'alien' skeleton," 22 Mar. 2018 For instance, a stretch of DNA that gives bats their distinctive pointy ears can, when mutated, cause an ear deformity in people called Stahl ear. NBC News, "Why don't elephants get cancer? New gene study explains," 7 Mar. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for deformity

Middle English deformite, from Middle French defformeteit, from Latin deformitat-, deformitas, from deformis deformed, from de- + forma

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Time Traveler for deformity

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

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More Definitions for deformity



English Language Learners Definition of deformity

: a condition in which part of the body does not have the normal or expected shape


de·​for·​mi·​ty | \ di-ˈfȯr-mə-tē How to pronounce deformity (audio) \
plural deformities

Kids Definition of deformity

1 : the condition of having a physical flaw
2 : a flaw in something and especially in the body of a person or animal


de·​for·​mi·​ty | \ di-ˈfȯr-mət-ē How to pronounce deformity (audio) \
plural deformities

Medical Definition of deformity

1 : the state of being deformed
2 : a physical blemish or distortion deformities caused by thalidomide

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Comments on deformity

What made you want to look up deformity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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