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Origin of flawed

First recorded in 1595–1605; flaw1 + -ed3
Related formsflawed·ness, nounnon·flawed, adjectiveun·flawed, adjective


  1. a feature that mars the perfection of something; defect; fault: beauty without flaw; the flaws in our plan.
  2. a defect impairing legal soundness or validity.
  3. a crack, break, breach, or rent.
verb (used with object)
  1. to produce a flaw in.
verb (used without object)
  1. to contract a flaw; become cracked or defective.

Origin of flaw

1275–1325; Middle English flaw(e), flage, perhaps < Old Norse flaga sliver, flake
Related formsflaw·less, adjective

Synonyms for flaw

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Synonym study

1. See defect.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for flawed


  1. an imperfection, defect, or blemish
  2. a crack, breach, or rift
  3. law an invalidating fault or defect in a document or proceeding
  1. to make or become blemished, defective, or imperfect
Derived Formsflawless, adjectiveflawlessly, adverbflawlessness, noun

Word Origin for flaw

C14: probably from Old Norse flaga stone slab; related to Swedish flaga chip, flake, flaw


    1. a sudden short gust of wind; squall
    2. a spell of bad, esp windy, weather
  1. obsolete an outburst of strong feeling
Derived Formsflawy, adjective

Word Origin for flaw

C16: of Scandinavian origin; related to Norwegian flaga squall, gust, Middle Dutch vlāghe
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 flawed



early 15c. (implied in flawed); see flaw (n.). Related: Flawing.



early 14c., "a flake" (of snow), also in Middle English "a spark of fire; a splinter," from Old Norse flaga "stone slab, flake" (see flagstone); sense of "defect, fault" first recorded 1580s, first of character, later (c.1600) of material things; probably via notion of a "fragment" broken off.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper