1. Defect, blemish, flaw refer to faults that detract from perfection. Defect is the general word for any kind of shortcoming or imperfection, whether literal or figurative: a defect in eyesight, in a plan. A blemish is usually a defect on a surface, which mars the appearance: a blemish on her cheek. Flaw is applied to a defect in quality, caused by imperfect structure (as in a diamond) or brought about during manufacture (as in texture of cloth, in clearness of glass, etc.).