Something that's defective doesn't work quite right, because it's damaged in some way. Your defective car probably won't make it all the way to California from New York.

Defective things are broken or flawed. A defective blender won't mix your morning smoothie the way you want it to, and a defective law doesn't serve the people it's meant to protect. A very old-fashioned meaning of defective, which is considered quite offensive today, is "mentally ill" or "mentally handicapped." The Late Latin root is defectivus, "to fail, revolt, or desert."

Definitions of defective

adj having a defect

“I returned the appliance because it was defective
not perfect; defective or inadequate

adj not working properly

“a defective appliance”
malfunctioning, nonfunctional
not performing or able to perform its regular function

adj markedly subnormal in structure or function or intelligence or behavior

defective speech”
abnormal, unnatural
not normal; not typical or usual or regular or conforming to a norm

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