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

Like the now-defunct Wi-Gig, someone needs to find a use for this. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 is official, coming to Android flagships in 2019," 6 Dec. 2018 The lawsuit, filed by a company called Six4Three with a now-defunct app called Pikinis, was originally filed in 2015. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Here’s why an app for finding bikini pics is Facebook’s latest headache," 29 Nov. 2018 In 2009, a now-defunct company called OnLive attempted to blaze the trail by letting users stream PC games to less powerful computers and even Android tablets. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Can Microsoft Finally Make Game Streaming Work?," 8 Oct. 2018 The implants were made by a now-defunct French manufacturer called Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP). Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Over 5,000 British Women Are Being Accused of Lying About Getting Defunct Breast Implants," 1 Oct. 2018 Winnick, who worked with Milken at the now-defunct investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. and later founded Global Crossing, a telecommunications firm that went bankrupt, confirmed the conversation with Scaramucci but declined to elaborate. James F. Peltz,, "Anthony Scaramucci, L.A.'s Gary Winnick encouraging pardon for 'junk bond king' Michael Milken," 16 June 2018 The now defunct bank alleged those assets included his homes in the state, profits from sales of property in Ireland, and luxury vehicles. Katheleen Conti,, "Ex-Irish bank chief who was extradited from Mass. has been found guilty of fraud," 6 June 2018 Some of the now-defunct group’s canvassers were found guilty of voter registration fraud. Andrew Seidman,, "In Bucks County congressional race, GOP seizes on Scott Wallace's wealth," 25 June 2018 The trials, in which monkeys were exposed to diesel fumes to show there were no ill health effects on the animals, were led by the now-defunct research group EUGT. Oliver Sachgau,, "Volkswagen Reinstates Lobbyist After Monkey Test Investigation," 6 June 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

11 Jan 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on defunct

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with defunct

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for defunct

Spanish Central: Translation of defunct

Nglish: Translation of defunct for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of defunct for Arabic Speakers

Comments on defunct

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a complex dispute or argument

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