• Defective


    • UK IPA: /dɪˈfÉ›ktɪv/


    From Middle French défectif

    Full definition of defective



    1. Having one or more defects.
      • 2013-03, w, The Smallest Cell, 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.

    Usage notes

    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.




    (plural defectives)
    1. A person considered to be defective.
      • 2007, January 15, Bernard E. Harcourt, The Mentally Ill, Behind Bars, 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.
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