[ dis-fuhngk-shuhn ]
/ dɪsˈfʌŋk ʃən /
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See synonyms for: dysfunction / dysfunctional on Thesaurus.com


Medicine/Medical. malfunctioning, as of an organ or structure of the body.
any malfunctioning part or element: the dysfunctions of the country's economy.
Sociology. a consequence of a social practice or behavior pattern that undermines the stability of a social system.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of dysfunction

First recorded in 1915–20; dys- + function

OTHER WORDS FROM dysfunction

dys·func·tion·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for dysfunction

British Dictionary definitions for dysfunction

/ (dɪsˈfʌŋkʃən) /


med any disturbance or abnormality in the function of an organ or part
(esp of a family) failure to show the characteristics or fulfil the purposes accepted as normal or beneficial
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

Medical definitions for dysfunction



Abnormal or impaired functioning, especially of a bodily system or organ.

Other words from dysfunction

dys•function•al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.