- 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 defectiveness
It could not indeed be otherwise; the defectiveness of the calendar must necessarily falsify all their records as to time.
Its defectiveness of numbers did not constitute its only weakness.The Life of George Washington, Vol. 2 (of 5)
Defectiveness is a recessive factor; normality a dominant one.Crime: Its Cause and Treatment
Thirty answers have been thrown out for irrelevancy or defectiveness.A Librarian's Open Shelf
Arthur E. Bostwick
The low state of vitality in the blood of the drunkard accounts for the defectiveness of a large per cent.Self Knowledge and Guide to Sex Instruction
T. W. Shannon
- 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 defectiveness
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.