de·funct | \di-ˈfəŋkt, dē-\

Definition of defunct 

: no longer living, existing, or functioning wrote for a magazine that is now defunct a defunct railroad

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Choose the Right Synonym for defunct

dead, defunct, deceased, departed, late mean devoid of life. dead applies literally to what is deprived of vital force but is used figuratively of anything that has lost any attribute (such as energy, activity, radiance) suggesting life. a dead, listless performance defunct stresses cessation of active existence or operation. a defunct television series deceased, departed, and late apply to persons who have died recently. deceased is the preferred term in legal use. the estate of the deceased departed is used usually as a euphemism. our departed sister late is used especially with reference to a person in a specific relation or status. the company's late president

Did You Know?

If you know that de- often means "the opposite of", it's easy to guess the meaning of defunct. Shakespeare seems to have been the first writer to use this adjective, in Henry V. Defunct American political parties include the Greenback Party, the Readjuster Party, and the Nullifier Party. Defunct Academy Awards categories include Best Dance Direction and Best Assistant Director. Defunct U.S. auto models include the Dudly Bug, the LuLu, the Hupmobile, the Gas-au-lec, and the Nu-Klea Starlite. But to speak of a person as defunct would sound disrespectful—which is how it sounds in e. e. cummings's famous poem "Buffalo Bill's defunct".

Examples of defunct in a Sentence

She wrote for the now-defunct newspaper. a stack of brochures and a few faded placards are all that remain of the defunct organization

Recent Examples on the Web

Her June 18 ruling was a setback for Kobach, who has championed such laws and led President Donald Trump’s now-defunct voter fraud commission . Roxana Hegeman, The Seattle Times, "Kansas official follows order, registers thousands to vote," 9 July 2018 The decision is a victory for civil rights groups and a rebuke of the law’s architect, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who oversaw President Trump’s now defunct voter fraud commission and is running for governor as a Republican. Kurtis Lee,, "A judge in Kansas just struck down one of the toughest voter ID laws in the country. Here's what you need to know," 20 June 2018 The ruling is a setback for Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who led President Donald Trump's now-defunct voter fraud commission and is running for governor. NBC News, "Judge strikes down Kansas law requiring proof of citizenship to vote," 19 June 2018 That’s where he was spotted by U.S. national team scouts, who invited him to the now-defunct full-time residency program in Bradenton, Fla. Jonathan Tannenwald,, "Matthew Olosunde rises from Trenton to Manchester United and U.S. national team," 25 May 2018 Falkenberg: Santa Fe shooting reminds us that no one is safe Santa Fe ISD received a safety certification from the state's now-defunct School Safety Certificate Program between 2013 and 2017. Alejandra Matos, Houston Chronicle, "After Texas school shooting, governor, lawmakers vow to make schools safer," 18 May 2018 Haspel's nomination reopened debate about the CIA's now-defunct program of detaining terror suspects overseas at secret lock-ups and subjecting them to harsh interrogation techniques. Lisa Marasco,, "Senate set to vote on Trump's nomination for CIA director," 17 May 2018 The money will come from funds collected through the San Diego Regional Enterprise Zone, a now-defunct tax credit program for businesses. David Hernandez,, "National City rolls out program to help spruce up storefronts," 19 Apr. 2018 But, by 2002, the Express was defunct, the Pistons had moved to Auburn Hills and the Lions relocated to Detroit. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, "Can millennials revive Oakland County's poorest city?," 12 May 2018

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

1599, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for defunct

Latin defunctus, from past participle of defungi to finish, die, from de- + fungi to perform — more at function

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Statistics for defunct

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for defunct

The first known use of defunct was in 1599

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More Definitions for defunct



English Language Learners Definition of defunct

: no longer existing or being used


de·funct | \di-ˈfəŋkt\

Kids Definition of defunct

: no longer existing or being used The old factory was defunct.

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Comments on defunct

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


lying above or upon

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