views updated May 23 2018

de·fect1 / ˈdēˌfekt/ • n. a shortcoming, imperfection, or·fect2 / diˈfekt/ • v. [intr.] abandon one's country or cause in favor of an opposing one: he defected to the Soviet Union after the war.DERIVATIVES: de·fec·tion / diˈfekshən/·fec·tor / -tər/ n.


views updated May 14 2018


Imperfection, flaw, or deficiency.

That which is subject to a defect is missing a requisite element and, therefore, is not legally binding. Defective service of process, for example, is service that does not comply with a procedural or jurisdictional requirement. A defective will is one that has not been properly drawn up, has been obtained by unlawful means, or does not comply with a particular law. In some cases, however, defects can be cured; for example, defective service of process can be cured by the service of an amended complaint.

In product liability, a defective product is one that cannot be used for the purposes intended or is made dangerous as a result of a flaw or imperfection. Such a defect might exist in the entire design of a product or in the production of a particular individual product. A latent defect is one that is not readily observable by the buyer of an item, whereas a patent defect is obvious or immediately apparent upon observation.

A fatal defect is one that, due to its serious nature, serves to nullify a contract.


views updated May 11 2018

defect shortcoming, deficiency. XV. — L. dēfectus, f. dēfect-, pp. stem of dēficere leave, desert, fail, f. DE- 2 + facere make, DO 1.
So defection failing, falling away. XVI. defective XV. — (O)F. or late L.