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[dih-fek-ter] /dɪˈfɛk tər/
a person who defects from a cause, country, alliance, etc.
Origin of defector
1655-65; < Latin dēfector renegade, rebel, equivalent to dēfec- (variant stem of dēficere to become disaffected, revolt, literally, to fail; see defect) + -tor -tor
Related forms
nondefector, noun
redefector, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for defector
  • Federal investigators feared that the defector might have been punished or killed.
  • It is true that a defector is not necessarily a great prize in terms of what he can give.
Word Origin and History for defector

1660s, agent noun in Latin form from defect, or else from Latin defector "revolter," agent noun from deficere (see deficient).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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