1. not performing normally, as an organ or structure of the body; malfunctioning.
  2. having a malfunctioning part or element: It is hard to get bills through a dysfunctional congress.
  3. behaving or acting outside social norms: All the siblings in their extremely dysfunctional family lost contact as adults.
Related formsdys·func·tion·al·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for dysfunctionally


  1. med (of an organ or part) not functioning normally
  2. (esp of a family) characterized by a breakdown of normal or beneficial relationships between members of the group
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 dysfunctionally



1917, from dysfunction + -al (1). Related: Dysfunctionally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper