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

The members of the choir in turn believe Cochran might be the answer to their prayers to deal with their dysfunction and help them in competitions. Greg Braxton, chicagotribune.com, "Bradley Whitford cornered the market on creepy white men. Now he’s ready to lighten up," 12 Sep. 2019 The Giants will break in a first-round rookie quarterback, at some point, while the Redskins are entrenched in their typical dysfunction. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "NFC preview: Will new coaching staff propel Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay back to title chase?," 5 Sep. 2019 Nutritional optic neuropathy, which Atan said is more frequently caused by malabsorption, certain medications and alcoholism, is a dysfunction in the optic nerve. Deanna Paul, Twin Cities, "UK teen is legally blind after 7-year diet of french fries, white bread and ham slices, doctors say," 5 Sep. 2019 After a damning report by the John Hopkins Institute for Education Policy described appalling and widespread dysfunction in the city’s public schools, the Providence school system is being placed under state control. Boston.com Real Estate, "Home buyers weary of Greater Boston prices are slipping south to Rhode Island," 14 Aug. 2019 It’s hard to tear your eyes away even when the show gets dark because, beyond her drug-addled dysfunction, Rue is deeply human and relatable. Hannah Hickok, Teen Vogue, "Why Our Generation Is Hooked on "Failure TV"," 11 July 2019 More than a decade ago, a theory began to emerge of a gut-brain connection, where a dysfunction in the gut could also affect brain activity. Bob Roehr, Smithsonian, "How the Gut Microbiome Could Provide a New Tool to Treat Autism," 14 June 2019 Nutritional optic neuropathy, which Atan said is more frequently caused by malabsorption, certain medications and alcoholism, is a dysfunction in the optic nerve. al, "Teen blind after eating fries, bread and ham for 7 years," 3 Sep. 2019 Such dysfunction is decades in the making and an accumulation of many factors that have little to do with effective teaching and learning but everything to do with impeding it. Keith Oliveira, BostonGlobe.com, "Keith Oliveira: State was right to take over Providence schools," 3 Sep. 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

History and Etymology for dysfunction

dys- + function entry 1

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Statistics for dysfunction

Last Updated

21 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dysfunction

The first known use of dysfunction was circa 1916

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More Definitions for dysfunction



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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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 spread over or through

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