[ dih-fek-shuhn ]
/ dɪˈfɛk ʃən /


desertion from allegiance, loyalty, duty, or the like; apostasy: His defection to East Germany was regarded as treasonable.
failure; lack; loss: He was overcome by a sudden defection of courage.

Nearby words

  1. defeature,
  2. defecate,
  3. defecation,
  4. defect,
  5. defectible,
  6. defective,
  7. defective bacteriophage,
  8. defective virus,
  9. defective year,
  10. defectively

Origin of defection

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

Related formsnon·de·fec·tion, nounre·de·fec·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for defection

British Dictionary definitions for defection


/ (dɪˈfɛkʃən) /


the act or an instance of defecting
abandonment of duty, allegiance, principles, etc; backsliding
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

Word Origin and History for defection



1540s, "action of failing;" 1550s, "action of deserting a party, leader, etc." from Latin defectionem (nominative defectio) "desertion, revolt, failure," noun of action from past participle stem of deficere (see deficient). Originally used often of faith.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper