flaw

A flaw can be a sign of weakness or defect. If you try to make wings and fly off the roof but wind up crashing in the gutter, there's a flaw in your plan.

In the early 14th century, when the noun flaw was first recorded, it referred to a snowflake or spark of fire. That sense is now obsolete, and now we use flaw to describe shortcomings in either character or object. We all have flaws. It can also describe an intentional mark of imperfection. “You see,” said the dancer Martha Graham, “when weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out.”

Definitions of flaw
  1. noun
    an imperfection in an object or machine
    “a flaw caused the crystal to shatter”
    synonyms: defect, fault
    see moresee less
    types:
    blister
    a flaw on a surface resulting when an applied substance does not adhere (as an air bubble in a coat of paint)
    bug, glitch
    a fault or defect in a computer program, system, or machine
    hole
    a fault
    type of:
    imperfection, imperfectness
    the state or an instance of being imperfect
  2. noun
    defect or weakness in a person's character
    “he had his flaws, but he was great nonetheless”
    see moresee less
    types:
    hamartia, tragic flaw
    the character flaw or error of a tragic hero that leads to his downfall
    type of:
    failing, weakness
    a flaw or weak point
  3. noun
    an imperfection in a plan or theory or legal document that causes it to fail or that reduces its effectiveness
    see moresee less
    type of:
    imperfection, imperfectness
    the state or an instance of being imperfect
  4. verb
    add a flaw or blemish to; make imperfect or defective
    synonyms: blemish
    see moresee less
    type of:
    damage
    inflict damage upon
Word Family
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