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See also: défective



From Middle French défectif, from Late Latin defectivus.[1]


  • (UK) IPA(key): /dɪˈfɛktɪv/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛktɪv


defective (comparative more defective, superlative most defective)

  1. Having one or more defects.
    Synonym: faulty
    Antonyms: complete, perfect
    • 2013 March, Morowitz, Harold J., “The Smallest Cell”, in American Scientist[1], volume 101, number 2, United States: Sigma Xi, ISSN 0003-0996, OCLC 645082957, page 83:
      It is likely that the long evolutionary trajectory of Mycoplasma went from a reductive autotroph to oxidative heterotroph to a cell-wall–defective degenerate parasite. This evolutionary trajectory assumes the simplicity to complexity route of biogenesis, a point of view that is not universally accepted.
  2. (grammar, of a lexeme, especially a verb) Lacking some forms; e.g., having only one tense or being usable only in the third person.
  3. (Arabic grammar, of a verb) Having a root whose final consonant is weak (ي, و, or ء).
  4. (Hebrew orthography) Spelled without matres lectionis, for example אמץ (ómets, courage) as opposed to the plene spelling אומץ where the letter vav ⟨ו⟩ indicates the vowel o.
    Antonym: plene

Usage notes[edit]

  • Nouns to which "defective" is often applied: merchandise, goods, part, component, product, equipment, gene, unit, construction, design, drug, memory, wiring, machine, device, instrument, hardware, software, vehicle.

Related terms[edit]



defective (plural defectives)

  1. A person or thing considered to be defective.
    • 2007 January 15, Bernard E. Harcourt, “The Mentally Ill, Behind Bars”, in New York Times[2]:
      There were many more kinds of mental institutions at mid-century, ones for “mental defectives and epileptics” and the mentally retarded, psychiatric wards in veterans hospitals, as well as “psychopathic” and private mental hospitals.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2021) , “defective”, in Online Etymology Dictionary



defective (comparative plus defective, superlative le plus defective)

  1. defective (having defects)