Check out new words added to


[dih-fuhngkt] /dɪˈfʌŋkt/
no longer in effect or use; not operating or functioning:
a defunct law; a defunct organization.
no longer in existence; dead; extinct:
a defunct person; a defunct tribe of Indians.
the defunct, the dead person referred to:
the survivors of the defunct.
Origin of defunct
1540-50; < Latin dēfunctus discharged, dead (past participle of dēfungī), equivalent to dē- de- + functus performed; see function
Related forms
defunctness, noun
nondefunct, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for defunct
  • Whether the cricket is dead or alive, traditional wisdom is evidently defunct, a tedious chirp no one has time for.
  • Next we go 2341 feet underground in a defunct Minnesota iron mine to search for particles that could reveal dark matter.
  • As caretakers of a defunct hunting lodge, the couple settled into their winter idyll.
  • Of course, most of these satellites are soon to be (or already) defunct and funding for replacements has not been forthcoming.
  • Some of the hazard-avoidance technology comes from the defunct mine-sweeping robot.
  • Alongside these two, several defunct music halls are being reclaimed as places of entertainment.
  • The treasure found this time is the long-defunct business of the winter ice harvest.
  • The researchers used the defunct salmon to make a salient point.
  • One feels like his own ghost unlawfully tenanting a defunct carcass.
  • Including barns that survive on defunct farms, there are roughly 3 million barns across the nation.
British Dictionary definitions for defunct


no longer living; dead or extinct
no longer operative or valid
Derived Forms
defunctive, adjective
defunctness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin dēfungī to discharge (one's obligations), die; see de-, function
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 defunct

1590s, from Old French defunct (14c., Modern French defunt) or directly from Latin defunctus "dead," literally "off-duty," from past participle of defungi "to discharge, finish," from de- "off, completely" (see de-) + fungi "perform or discharge duty," from PIE root *bheug- (2) "to enjoy" (see brook (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for defunct

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for defunct

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with defunct

Nearby words for defunct