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defection

[dih-fek-shuh n] /dɪˈfɛk ʃən/
noun
1.
desertion from allegiance, loyalty, duty, or the like; apostasy:
His defection to East Germany was regarded as treasonable.
2.
failure; lack; loss:
He was overcome by a sudden defection of courage.
Origin of defection
1535-1545
1535-45; < Latin dēfectiōn- (stem of dēfectiō), equivalent to dēfect(us) (see defect) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
nondefection, noun
redefection, noun
Antonyms
1. loyalty.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for defection
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I consented to the defection with a good deed of pleasure, as I considered that, if the rebels fought, we should lose heavily.

  • Pecuniary embarrassment is supposed to have led to his defection from the cause of his country.

    Tea Leaves Various
  • He thought not; indeed, she did not seem to retain any memory of his defection.

    Davenport Dunn, Volume 2 (of 2) Charles James Lever
  • The defeats which had been sustained were bad enough; but the defection was worse.

    The Hour and the Man Harriet Martineau
  • His wife will now rage with jealousy over a defection she has done her best to cause.

British Dictionary definitions for defection

defection

/dɪˈfɛkʃən/
noun
1.
the act or an instance of defecting
2.
abandonment of duty, allegiance, principles, etc; backsliding
3.
another word for defect (sense 1), defect (sense 2)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for defection
n.

1540s, "action of failing;" 1550s, "action of deserting a party, leader, etc." from Latin defectionem (nominative defectio) "desertion, revolt, failure," noun of action from past participle stem of deficere (see deficient). Originally used often of faith.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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