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