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From Old French defunct (French défunt), from Latin dēfunctus, past participle of dēfungor (to finish, discharge).



defunct (comparative more defunct, superlative most defunct)

  1. (now rare) Deceased, dead.
    • (Can we date this quote by Shakespeare and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      defunct organs
    • (Can we date this quote by Byron and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      The boar, defunct, lay tripped up, near.
  2. No longer in use, inactive.
  3. (computing) Specifically, of a program: that has terminated but is still shown in the list of processes because the parent process that created it is still running and has not yet reaped it. See also zombie, zombie process.
  4. (business) No longer in business or service.
  5. (linguistics) (of a language) No longer spoken.



defunct (third-person singular simple present defuncts, present participle defuncting, simple past and past participle defuncted)

  1. To make defunct.



  1. The dead person (referred to).
    • 1817 September, in Blackwood's Edinburgh magazine, volume 1, page 617:
      [] he saw Robert Johnston, pannel, come out of the cott-house with the fork in his hand, and pass by Alexander Fall and the deponent; heard the pannell say, he had sticked the dog, and he would stick the whelps too; whereupon the pannell run after the defunct’s son with the fork in his hand, []

Related terms[edit]