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
  1. adjective
    having a defect
    “I returned the appliance because it was defective
    synonyms: faulty
    not perfect; defective or inadequate
  2. adjective
    not working properly
    “a defective appliance”
    synonyms: bad
    malfunctioning, nonfunctional
    not performing or able to perform its regular function
  3. adjective
    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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