Share this entry

defective Syllabification: de·fec·tive
Pronunciation: /dəˈfektiv/

Definition of defective in English:


1Imperfect or faulty: complaints over defective goods
More example sentences
  • The legislation, according to its critics, would have provided legal loopholes for those responsible for defective products, faulty construction and even criminal acts.
  • Some buses examined by inspectors in the last year have been found to have defective steering, faulty brakes or even bald tyres.
  • The list of faults included defective tyres, faulty brakes and defective steering.
faulty, flawed, imperfect, shoddy, inoperative, malfunctioning, out of order, unsound;
in disrepair, broken
informal on the blink, on the fritz
1.1Lacking or deficient: dystrophin is commonly defective in muscle tissue
More example sentences
  • A genetic selection for mutants that activate this pathway uncovered a class of mutants defective in cell wall integrity.
  • Mutants that grew on these plates were judged to be defective in glucose metabolism and were not studied further.
  • A case study of cause-and-effect, it's also a yarn of dangerously defective brotherly love.
lacking, wanting, deficient, inadequate, insufficient
1.2 Grammar (Of a word) not having all the inflections normal for the part of speech.
2 (also mentally defective) dated or offensive Having mental disabilities.


(also mental defective) dated or offensive Back to top  
A person with mental disabilities.



Pronunciation: /dəˈfektivlē/
Example sentences
  • The point of departure for reform is always an idea or institution that is affirmed but considered to have been imperfectly or defectively realized.
  • The important thing to remember is that no expert ever said that this course was designed defectively and I don't think other clubs will be impacted by this decision.
  • Thus if a building is constructed so defectively that it is of no use for its designed purpose the owner may have little difficulty in establishing that his loss is the necessary cost of reconstructing.


Pronunciation: /dəˈfektivnəs/
Example sentences
  • There now exists a vast repository of images that make it harder to maintain this kind of moral defectiveness.
  • Contrary to an occasionally voiced view, it is irrelevant whether the producer in question was in a position to recognise the defectiveness in his product.
  • Of course, it may be easier to tell that the good or building is of a lesser quality if its defectiveness becomes manifest but this does not change the nature of the complaint.

Definition of defective in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day exemplum
Pronunciation: ɪɡˈzɛmpləm
an example or model...