de·​funct | \ di-ˈfəŋkt How to pronounce defunct (audio) , 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

During her Southern Charm days, Landon launched her now-defunct travel blog, Trovare. Lauren Smith, Good Housekeeping, "Why Landon Clements Isn't on "Southern Charm" Anymore," 15 May 2019 Before Death Cab took the stage, Bellingham power-poppers LipStitch, Robotaki and Seattle indie-electronic producer Chong the Nomad warmed up the still-gathering crowd on the field once home to Western’s defunct football team. Michael Rietmulder, The Seattle Times, "Review: Death Cab for Cutie, ODESZA’s Bellingham love fest starts summer early," 20 May 2019 Servia used to coach Sato during his time with KV Racing Technology, a defunct IndyCar team. Dakota Crawford, Indianapolis Star, "8 awesome things Takuma Sato's Indy 500 win made happen," 27 May 2018 It’s hard to ignore all of the other defunct teams and leagues that have called Orlando home over the years. Mike Bianchi,, "Vince McMahon vs. Steve Spurrier? XFL contacts Orlando about bringing second pro football team to town," 1 May 2018 Reid is in crisis mode after claiming hackers planted homophobic slurs on her now-defunct website to tarnish her name as critics and experts continue to poke holes in her story. Brian Flood, Fox News, "Embattled MSNBC star Joy Reid fat-shamed 'chubbed-out shrew' Rosie O'Donnell amid feud with Trump, report says," 26 Apr. 2018 On her now-defunct lifestyle blog the Tig, Meghan often wove her love of the outdoors and passion for eco-friendly practices into her posts. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "6 Reasons Why Meghan Markle Will Be an Eco-Friendly Mom," 15 Apr. 2019 Of course, as a star of Suits and the founder of a now-defunct lifestyle site (long live The Tig), Markle already had fans who followed her moves on social media and looked to her for advice on fashion, food, and travel. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "The ‘Markle Sparkle’ Is a Real Thing—and the Women Who Shop Because of Meghan Markle Really Feel It," 17 Jan. 2019 They were taken in the 1990s for the now-defunct French magazine Max. Michael Balsamo,, "Sex workers slam Giuliani for saying Stormy Daniels isn't credible," 7 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

14 Jun 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

formal : 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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behavior toward others

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