flaw

1 of 3

noun (1)

1
a
: a defect in physical structure or form
a diamond with a flaw
b
: an imperfection or weakness and especially one that detracts from the whole or hinders effectiveness
vanity was the flaw in his character
a flaw in the book's plot
2
obsolete : fragment

flaw

2 of 3

verb

flawed; flawing; flaws

transitive verb

: to make flaws in : mar

intransitive verb

: to become defective

flaw

3 of 3

noun (2)

1
: a sudden brief burst of wind
the wind changed with flaws from westward Archibald MacLeish
also : a spell of stormy weather
2
obsolete : an outburst especially of passion

Example Sentences

Verb that crack has flawed the vase to the extent that its value in the antiques market is greatly reduced

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1) and Verb

Middle English, flake, from Old Norse flaga stone slab, moldar flaga thin layer of turf; akin to Old English flōh flat stone

Noun (2)

of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian flaga gust, squall

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1610, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun (2)

1513, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of flaw was in 1513

Dictionary Entries Near flaw

Cite this Entry

“Flaw.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flaw. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

flaw 1 of 2

noun

: a small often hidden defect
flawless
-ləs
adjective
flawlessly adverb
flawlessness noun

flaw

2 of 2

verb

: to make or become defective

More from Merriam-Webster on flaw

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