defect

noun
de·​fect | \ ˈdē-ˌfekt How to pronounce defect (audio) , di-ˈfekt How to pronounce defect (audio) \

Definition of defect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an imperfection or abnormality that impairs quality, function, or utility : shortcoming, flaw carefully inspect a tire for defects examined the porcelain for defects a moral defect in his nature neural tube defects defects of metabolism
2 chemistry : an imperfection (such as a vacancy or an unlike atom) in a crystal lattice (see lattice sense 2)

defect

verb
de·​fect | \ di-ˈfekt How to pronounce defect (audio) \
defected; defecting; defects

Definition of defect (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to forsake one cause, party, or nation for another often because of a change in ideology a former KGB agent who defected to America
2 : to leave one situation (such as a job) often to go over to a rival the reporter defected to another network

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Other Words from defect

Verb

defector \ di-​ˈfek-​tər How to pronounce defect (audio) \ noun

Examples of defect in a Sentence

Noun They examine their products for defects. She was born with a heart defect. Vanity and pride were his two worst character defects. Verb The Russian scholar defected in 1979. She defected from the conservative party. He defected to the West before the war began. The reporter defected to another TV network.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The number of Bolts with the defect is likely to be small, Flores said. Tom Krisher, Star Tribune, 23 July 2021 The surface is very thin, and the matte surface will show even the slightest defect. Forbes, 11 May 2021 Tyler Berding, an attorney who specializes in construction defects and whose firm represented some Millennium homeowners in lawsuits related to the defect, said the latest uncertainty is tough for residents to swallow. J.k. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 Aug. 2021 Spokesman Dan Flores says engineers are still working around the clock on how to find the battery defect and what the repairs will be. Tom Krisher, Star Tribune, 23 July 2021 Engineers at Boeing and the FAA are trying to understand the defect’s potential to cause premature fatigue on a key part of the aircraft’s structure, people familiar with the matter said. Andrew Tangel, WSJ, 13 July 2021 Kelly shared in a later post that doctors had officially diagnosed it as a cerebellar stroke, the result of a defect in his right vertebral artery which created a blood clot that's blocking the blood supply to his cerebellum. Brian Haenchen, The Indianapolis Star, 11 Aug. 2021 The organization is suing Johnson & Johnson for negligence, failure to warn customers of a possible defect in a product and consumer fraud. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, 27 July 2021 Durham entered pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental defect. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, 17 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Voters who make a mistake — like forgetting to sign a mail ballot certificate or omitting residency information, or if their signature is questioned — may fix that defect to ensure their ballot counts. Adam Brewster, CBS News, 7 Sep. 2021 During the Taliban's insurgency, Muttaqi chaired the Invitation and Guidance Commission, which sought to encourage government officials and others to defect to the group. NBC News, 7 Sep. 2021 For athletes disillusioned with their countries or fearful of going home, the Games have also offered avenues to defect. Washington Post, 2 Aug. 2021 Of course, that was before Bob found out the top of his league will defect to the SEC sometime in the next four years, much to the commissioner’s surprise and dismay. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, 2 Sep. 2021 In the House, the margin is only slightly more forgiving, allowing as few as three Democrats to defect if all Republicans are opposed, as expected. New York Times, 24 Aug. 2021 Maria Andrejczyk, herself a bone cancer survivor, auctioned off the medal to give an 8-month-old boy with a heart defect a fighting chance at survival. NBC News, 18 Aug. 2021 Hungary sent more than 100 athletes from a nation in turmoil after Soviet forces invaded — including gymnastics great Ágnes Keleti, who won gold medals and two silvers and proceeded to defect to Australia. Graham Dunbar, ajc, 4 Aug. 2021 Time was up for Gillian in her attempt to defect, and time was also up for her in the game, as she was voted out that night. Dalton Ross, EW.com, 27 July 2021

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for defect

Noun

Middle English, borrowed from Latin dēfectus "failure, absence, lack, weakness," from dēficere "to be lacking, run short, weaken, fail" + -tus, suffix of action nouns — more at deficient

Verb

borrowed from Latin dēfectus, past participle of dēficere "to be lacking, fail, become disaffected, go over (to the side of an opponent)" — more at deficient

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Time Traveler for defect

Time Traveler

The first known use of defect was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near defect

defecator

defect

defectibility

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Statistics for defect

Last Updated

17 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Defect.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/defect. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for defect

defect

noun

English Language Learners Definition of defect

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a physical problem that causes something to be less valuable, effective, healthy, etc.
: something that causes weakness or failure

defect

verb

English Language Learners Definition of defect (Entry 2 of 2)

: to leave a country, political party, organization, etc., and go to a different one that is a competitor or an enemy

defect

noun
de·​fect | \ ˈdē-ˌfekt How to pronounce defect (audio) , di-ˈfekt \

Kids Definition of defect

1 : something that makes a thing imperfect : flaw A slight defect lowered the diamond's value.
2 : a lack of something needed for perfection Doctors can correct the hearing defect.

defect

noun
de·​fect | \ ˈdē-ˌfekt How to pronounce defect (audio) , di-ˈ How to pronounce defect (audio) \

Medical Definition of defect

: a lack or deficiency of something necessary for adequacy in form or function a hearing defect

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defect

noun
de·​fect | \ ˈdē-ˌfekt, di-ˈfekt How to pronounce defect (audio) \

Legal Definition of defect

: something or a lack of something that results in incompleteness, inadequacy, or imperfection: as
a : a flaw in something (as a product) especially that creates an unreasonable risk of harm in its normal use — see also latent defect
b : an error or omission in a court document (as an indictment or pleading)
c : some imperfection in the chain of title to property that makes the title unmarketable

Other Words from defect

defective \ di-​ˈfek-​tiv How to pronounce defect (audio) \ adjective
defectively adverb
defectiveness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on defect

Nglish: Translation of defect for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of defect for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about defect

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