follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers

defect

[n. dee-fekt, dih-fekt; v. dih-fekt] /n. ˈdi fɛkt, dɪˈfɛkt; v. dɪˈfɛkt/
noun
1.
a shortcoming, fault, or imperfection:
a defect in an argument; a defect in a machine.
2.
lack or want, especially of something essential to perfection or completeness; deficiency:
a defect in hearing.
3.
Also called crystal defect, lattice defect. Crystallography. a discontinuity in the lattice of a crystal caused by missing or extra atoms or ions, or by dislocations.
verb (used without object)
4.
to desert a cause, country, etc., especially in order to adopt another (often followed by from or to):
He defected from the U.S.S.R to the West.
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin dēfectus failure, weakness, equivalent to dēfec- variant stem of dēficere to run short, fail, weaken (see deficient) + -tus suffix of v. action
Related forms
defectible, adjective
defectibility, noun
defectless, adjective
nondefecting, adjective
predefect, noun
redefect, verb (used without object)
Synonyms
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.).
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for defects
  • Newborns have a high rate of birth defects and a lower survival rate.
  • Cancers can start in almost any body cell, due to damage or defects in genes involved in cell division.
  • The yawning seam and corroded bolt conceal their defects from the mariner until the storm calls all hands to the pumps.
  • Alarming upsurges in birth defects and cancer rates are reported even in the state-controlled press.
  • It is in general more profitable to reckon up our defects than to boast of our attainments.
  • Neither its merits nor its defects remind us of the reputed author.
  • And there are grumbles about manufacturing defects and customer service.
  • So-called cross-functional teams from both firms strive to eliminate defects.
  • There is nothing to be gained from tolerating defects on the production line or mistakes in the operating theatre.
  • There are many cases of birth defects and cancer in the families of farmworkers.
British Dictionary definitions for defects

defect

noun (dɪˈfɛkt; ˈdiːfɛkt)
1.
a lack of something necessary for completeness or perfection; shortcoming; deficiency
2.
an imperfection, failing, or blemish
3.
(crystallog) a local deviation from regularity in the crystal lattice of a solid See also point defect, dislocation (sense 3)
verb (dɪˈfɛkt)
4.
(intransitive) to desert one's country, cause, allegiance, etc, esp in order to join the opposing forces
Derived Forms
defector, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin dēfectus, from dēficere to forsake, fail; see deficient
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for defects

defect

n.

early 15c., from Middle French defect and directly from Latin defectus "failure, revolt, falling away," noun use of past participle of deficere "to fail, desert" (see deficient).

v.

1570s, from Latin defectus, past participle of deficere "to fail, desert" (see defect (n.)). Related: Defected; defecting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
defects in Medicine

defect de·fect (dē'fěkt', dĭ-fěkt')
n.
A lack of or abnormality in something necessary for normal functioning; a deficiency or imperfection.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for defect

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for defects

13
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with defects