- having a defect or flaw; faulty; imperfect: a defective machine.
- Psychology. characterized by subnormal intelligence or behavior.
- Grammar. (of an inflected word or its inflection) lacking one or more of the inflected forms proper to most words of the same class in the language, as English must, which occurs only in the present tense.
- a defective person or thing.
Origin of defective
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for defective
Flaubert, for instance, hated the works of Dickens: “What defective composition!”The Birth of the Novel
November 27, 2014
Seven years ago, a Chevy Cobalt with a defective ignition switch killed two teenage girls.
By either estimate, the defective switch cost Amy Rademaker and at least a dozen other people their lives.
Seattle was faster, stronger, hungrier, and more prepared, and Manning seemed like a wizard with a defective wand.Super Blowout: Seahawks Buck Broncos to Take Home the Championship Title
February 3, 2014
In The Conjuring, the Warrens brush off alleged hauntings as the result of drafts or defective pipes.A Night with The Conjuring’s Ed & Lorraine Warren
August 18, 2013
The defective points of Martha's character seem to have been two.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. II
Francis Augustus Cox
We have overlooked the defective training of the individual, provided he "made good."The American Mind
Any of these elements lacking, and the life is wanting, defective, impure.The Book of Khalid
The corner of the 'W' instead of being clear and distinct, is blunt and defective.The Film of Fear
Of what use is fortune or talent to a cold and defective nature?Essays, Second Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
- having a defect or flaw; imperfect; faulty
- (of a person) below the usual standard or level, esp in intelligence
- grammar (of a word) lacking the full range of inflections characteristic of its form class, as for example must, which has no past tense
Word Origin and History for defective
mid-14c., from Middle French défectif (14c.) and directly from Late Latin defectivus, from defect-, past participle stem of deficere (see deficient). A euphemism for "mentally ill" from 1898 to c.1935. Related: Defectively; defectiveness.
- Having an imperfection or malformation.
- Lacking or deficient in some physical or mental function.