- not performing normally, as an organ or structure of the body; malfunctioning.
- having a malfunctioning part or element: It is hard to get bills through a dysfunctional congress.
- behaving or acting outside social norms: All the siblings in their extremely dysfunctional family lost contact as adults.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for dysfunctional
These young adults have voluntarily checked out of a political system they consider corrupt and dysfunctional.When Will We See a #Millennial Congress?
December 26, 2014
This is a story that celebrates difference, as opposed to the story of a dysfunctional kid.The Brit Who Stormed Broadway
December 7, 2014
The family was close, “in a crazy kind of dysfunctional way,” he says.Can Condon's Freak Show Win Broadway?
November 18, 2014
Their interest, as ever, is in pushing the perception that Washington is dysfunctional.Inside the Democrats’ Godawful Midterm Election Wipeout
November 5, 2014
The populist anger at Washington incumbents in this election is directed at the dysfunctional divisions in DC.The Kansas Independent Who Could Control the Senate
September 6, 2014
It is this unaccomplished, uneasy metamorphosis that tore the social fabric of CEE apart, rendering it poisoned and dysfunctional.
The West knew that these institutions were dysfunctional – but not to which breathtaking extent.
- med (of an organ or part) not functioning normally
- (esp of a family) characterized by a breakdown of normal or beneficial relationships between members of the group
Word Origin and History for dysfunctional
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper