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[dis-fuhngk-shuh n] /dɪsˈfʌŋk ʃən/
Medicine/Medical. malfunctioning, as of an organ or structure of the body.
any malfunctioning part or element:
the dysfunctions of the country's economy.
Sociology. a consequence of a social practice or behavior pattern that undermines the stability of a social system.
Origin of dysfunction
1915-20; dys- + function
Related forms
dysfunctional, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dysfunction
  • Radial nerve dysfunction is a problem with the radial nerve.
  • The real dysfunction began after a pool of candidates had been identified.
  • Some third effect could be triggering both the symptoms of autism and the mitochondrial dysfunction.
  • These findings lend credence to the concept that serotonin dysfunction plays a role in the disorder.
  • For the first time, a therapy had been proved to reduce dysfunction caused by spinal cord trauma.
  • It was interesting how you tied the characteristics of a small town to the dysfunction of your family.
  • Direct democracy in this form contributes to dysfunction.
  • Meanwhile, dysfunction of the mirror neuron system has been linked to developmental disorders, such as autism.
  • Cancer may also be in part a disease of telomere dysfunction.
  • It is true that there is some measure of disaffection and even dysfunction.
British Dictionary definitions for dysfunction


(med) any disturbance or abnormality in the function of an organ or part
(esp of a family) failure to show the characteristics or fulfil the purposes accepted as normal or beneficial
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 dysfunction

1916, from dys- "bad, abnormal, difficult" + function (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dysfunction in Medicine

dysfunction dys·func·tion or dis·func·tion (dĭs-fŭngk'shən)
Abnormal or impaired functioning, especially of a bodily system or organ.

dys·func'tion·al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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