- 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 for defective on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for defectively
It is unequally and often unjustly or defectively administered.Glimpses into the Abyss
Without it we work in the dark, and therefore feebly, defectively.Essays sthetical
Such is an outline of Marshall's argument, as inaccurately and defectively reported.The Life of John Marshall (Volume 2 of 4)
Albert J. Beveridge
Unless the record shown me is defectively made out I think it can be successfully defended against.The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Volume Six
Then one day a defectively wired machine came sliding along, and dutifully Sam hooked it up and flipped the switch.The Odyssey of Sam Meecham
Charles E. Fritch
- 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 defectively
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.