dys·​func·​tion | \ (ˌ)dis-ˈfəŋ(k)-shən How to pronounce dysfunction (audio) \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of dysfunction

1 : impaired or abnormal functioning gastrointestinal dysfunction
2 : abnormal or unhealthy interpersonal behavior or interaction within a group family dysfunction

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Examples of dysfunction in a Sentence

The disease causes gastrointestinal dysfunctions.

Recent Examples on the Web

Drama and dysfunction have often obscured Love’s talent and accomplishments. Lisawhill, Longreads, "Live Through This: Courtney Love at 55," 9 July 2019 In rare cases, serious complications can occur, leading to neurologic dysfunction or death, according to the CDC. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Pearland woman finds horde of invasive worms known to carry dangerous parasite in backyard," 2 July 2019 Given the long-running political dysfunction in Washington, the results will determine what sort of country America becomes almost as much as the victor of the next presidential election will. The Economist, "Texafornia dreaming," 20 June 2019 What if the longest government shutdown in history was just a preview of more profound dysfunction to come? Brendan Buck For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Congress should eliminate the debt limit," 19 June 2019 On the other hand, all that relationship dysfunction was airing on national television for everyone to see on a weekly basis. Dalton Ross, EW.com, "Inside the most radical reality show transformation ever: The redemption of Colin and Christie," 19 June 2019 The animosity and dysfunction of Dell Demps’ final days as general manager are already distant memories. Ben Golliver, The Denver Post, "2019 NBA mock draft: How will Pelicans build around Zion Williamson?," 18 June 2019 Either dysfunction causes strain to the heart and can lead to heart failure and other symptoms that negatively impact health. Trihealth, Cincinnati.com, "Common surgical heart treatments," 13 June 2019 About 40 percent of those who suffer graft dysfunction die within 30 days of surgery. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Transplant was no easy road for Oceanside man who fought for new lung," 10 June 2019

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

circa 1916, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for dysfunction

Last Updated

13 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dysfunction

The first known use of dysfunction was circa 1916

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English Language Learners Definition of dysfunction

: the condition of having poor and unhealthy behaviors and attitudes within a group of people
medical : the state of being unable to function in a normal way


variants: also disfunction \ (ˈ)dis-​ˈfəŋ(k)-​shən How to pronounce disfunction (audio) \

Medical Definition of dysfunction

: impaired or abnormal functioning (as of an organ of the body) — see minimal brain dysfunction

Other Words from dysfunction

dysfunctional \ -​shnəl, -​shən-​ᵊl How to pronounce dysfunctional (audio) \ adjective
dysfunctioning \ -​shə-​niŋ How to pronounce dysfunctioning (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on dysfunction

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dysfunction

Spanish Central: Translation of dysfunction

Nglish: Translation of dysfunction for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dysfunction for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dysfunction

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


to complain fretfully

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