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defective

[dih-fek-tiv]
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adjective
  1. having a defect or flaw; faulty; imperfect: a defective machine.
  2. Psychology. characterized by subnormal intelligence or behavior.
  3. 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.
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noun
  1. a defective person or thing.
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Origin of defective

1375–1425; < Late Latin dēfectīvus, equivalent to dēfectus (see defect) + -īvus -ive; replacing Middle English defectif < Middle French < Late Latin, as above
Related formsde·fec·tive·ly, adverbde·fec·tive·ness, nounnon·de·fec·tive, adjectivenon·de·fec·tive·ly, adverbnon·de·fec·tive·ness, nounpre·de·fec·tive, adjectiveun·de·fec·tive, adjectiveun·de·fec·tive·ly, adverbun·de·fec·tive·ness, noun

Synonyms

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1. incomplete, deficient.

Antonyms

1. perfect, complete.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for defective

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • The defective points of Martha's character seem to have been two.

  • We have overlooked the defective training of the individual, provided he "made good."

  • Any of these elements lacking, and the life is wanting, defective, impure.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • The corner of the 'W' instead of being clear and distinct, is blunt and defective.

    The Film of Fear

    Arnold Fredericks

  • Of what use is fortune or talent to a cold and defective nature?

    Essays, Second Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson


British Dictionary definitions for defective

defective

adjective
  1. having a defect or flaw; imperfect; faulty
  2. (of a person) below the usual standard or level, esp in intelligence
  3. grammar (of a word) lacking the full range of inflections characteristic of its form class, as for example must, which has no past tense
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Derived Formsdefectively, adverbdefectiveness, noun
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 defective

adj.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

defective in Medicine

defective

(dĭ-fĕktĭv)
n.
  1. Having an imperfection or malformation.
  2. Lacking or deficient in some physical or mental function.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.