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malfunction

verb mal·func·tion \ ˌmal-ˈfəŋ(k)-shən \
Updated on: 14 Apr 2018

Definition of malfunction

: to function imperfectly or badly : fail to operate normally

malfunction

noun

Examples of malfunction in a Sentence

  1. A software problem is causing the system to malfunction.

Recent Examples of malfunction from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'malfunction.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

A malfunctioning switch might keep us from turning on a light. A malfunctioning heart valve might require replacement with an artificial valve, and if your immune system malfunctions it may start to attack healthy cells. And a malfunction in a voting machine could result in hundreds of votes being miscounted.

First Known Use of malfunction

1941

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
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malfunction

noun

Definition of malfunction

plural malfunctions
: a failure to operate or function in the normal or correct manner : the action or an instance of malfunctioning
  • a hardware/equipment malfunction
  • Once thought to be a disease itself dropsy is now known to be a sign of several kinds of body malfunction, especially congestive heart failure and kidney disease.
  • —C. Clairborne Ray
  • In schizophrenia this filtering system malfunctions or short-circuits. This malfunction causes people to misevaluate what they see, hear, and experience in their environment.
  • —Richard Crino

First Known Use of malfunction

1892

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

Medical Dictionary

malfunction

intransitive verb mal·func·tion \ (ˈ)mal-ˈfəŋ(k)-shən \

medical Definition of malfunction

: to function imperfectly or badly : fail to operate in the normal or usual manner
  • malfunctioning kidneys

malfunction

noun


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