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

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 But while Covid-19 mitigation measures are nearly defunct in all parts of this country, including at most schools and venues, coronavirus is not quite through with us yet. Nina Shapiro, Forbes, 22 Apr. 2022 Bucha was captured in the days immediately after the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces who swept south, capturing the defunct nuclear reactor at Chernobyl and moving southward toward the capital. Byreuters, ABC News, 5 Apr. 2022 Ukraine’s local nuclear authorities have criticized Russia for its dangerous behavior in seizing the defunct nuclear reactor. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 1 Apr. 2022 That northern segment has been defunct since the 1990s, when El Niño storms undercut sections of the line that proved too expensive to repair. Gregory Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 Mar. 2022 The developer also notes 4,300 units are being built on a defunct course in higher-density Mission Valley. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Sep. 2021 In 2000, Weisselberg was named the CFO and vice president of the Trump Hotels & Casino Company, based in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and was later appointed as board member and treasurer for the now-defunct Trump Foundation. Matthew Brown, USA TODAY, 1 July 2021 The school also received a total of $200,000 in donations in 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016 from the now-defunct Trump Foundation, according to a CNN review of its filings. Kara Scannell, CNN, 21 June 2021 The fire ignited on Saturday northeast of Camp Verde in the now-defunct Beaver Creek Golf Course. Marlene Lenthang, ABC News, 28 May 2021 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for defunct

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The first known use of defunct was in 1599

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Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Defunct.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for defunct


de·​funct | \ di-ˈfəŋkt \

Kids Definition of defunct

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

More from Merriam-Webster on defunct

Nglish: Translation of defunct for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of defunct for Arabic Speakers


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