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.
    • 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).

Usage notesEdit

  • 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 termsEdit



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 alsoEdit


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



defective (comparative plus defective, superlative le plus defective)

  1. defective (having defects)