View synonyms for defection


[ dih-fek-shuhn ]


  1. desertion from allegiance, loyalty, duty, or the like; apostasy:

    His defection to East Germany was regarded as treasonable.

    Antonyms: loyalty

  2. failure; lack; loss:

    He was overcome by a sudden defection of courage.


/ dɪˈfɛkʃən /


  1. the act or an instance of defecting
  2. abandonment of duty, allegiance, principles, etc; backsliding
  3. another word for defect defect

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Other Words From

  • nonde·fection noun
  • rede·fection noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of defection1

1535–45; < Latin dēfectiōn- (stem of dēfectiō ), equivalent to dēfect ( us ) ( defect ) + -iōn- -ion

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Example Sentences

The defections underscore the urgency of Republicans’ efforts to stem their demographic decline.

Offseason defections hit the program hard after it reeled off 17 consecutive wins and was a legit national championship contender before the pandemic ended last season early.

His first wife, an Englishwoman with whom he had three children, divorced him after his defection.

Winning the Senate races there would likely mean that Democrats have 53 or 54 seats overall, giving them room for defections on key votes.

Over the past 20 years, most defections have involved North Koreans fleeing south — an estimated 33,600 have done so, though about 900 are unaccounted for.

From Ozy

At the time of his defection, he felt a strong need to get out of Cuba, and accomplished just that.

In a statement, RT said that Wahl's on-air defection was "nothing more than a self-promotional stunt."

But Habib has yet to appear publicly, and Syrian state media denied the defection, insisting that Habib was still at home.

A leader in the movement, Picciolini was able to frame his defection as a retirement.

The former U.S. intelligence officers, however, said the case is already being treated as a potential defection.

Faithless little Judy had shown her defection from Aunty Rosa already.

Cotgrave gives us: 'Faillance, f. a defection, failing, decaying.'

Since Jonathan Maxfield's defection, he might be considered the leading member of the Methodist congregation.

The Kinghampstead division remained for some time insensitive to my defection.

The line which he immediately took was still more alarming to the Administration than the act of defection.