Something defunct is dead or no longer existing. You use "defunct" instead of "dead" to emphasize how something used to be active, or how it used to be an important, real thing, and now it's not.
Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “a defunct law.”
2. After a linking verb, as in "The law was defunct.”)
"Defunctness" is the noun.
You can also use "defunctive" as an alternate adjective.
How to use it:
Occasionally you'll talk about defunct people: "The exhibit seemed to give new life to the defunct hominids." "It's no use arguing or competing with the defunct."
But you usually talk about defunct things, such as objects that don't work anymore, technology that's no longer used, publications or shows that are no longer created, companies that are no longer in existence, organizations or associations that are nowhere near as powerful or popular as they used to be, traditions and values and expectations that are no longer important or common, and so on.
More than just a detailed knowledge of history, archaeologists need imagination, I think, to piece together what life was like for defunct societies.
It's frustrating to look up information online only to find you're on some defunct site last updated in 2009.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "defunct" means when you can explain it without saying "no longer functioning" or "no longer active."
Think of a tradition or habit that you used to have a long time ago, and fill in the blanks: "The (tradition/habit/practice) of _____ has been (a certain amount of time) defunct."
Example: "The holiday tradition of wrapping someone's gift in what I thought was a hilarious number of layers has been nearly twenty years defunct."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
This month, we're playing with song lyrics that include words featured in issues of Make Your Point. I’ll give you a few lines from the song, with a blank where our word appears, along with its definition. See if you can come up with it! You can follow the link to see the right answer right away, or just wait until the following day’s issue. Have fun!
Yesterday's lyrics: Artist: Elvis Costello Title: National Ransom Lyrics: The elite bleat, they’re obsolete
But are your prospects?
Exact, perfect object
Now, if you'd only _____ Definition: to kneel down in worship, literally or figuratively
Try this one today:
Artist: Bob Marley & the Wailers Title: Greetings Lyrics: Yeah
Greetings in the name of his _____ majesty
Emperor I'n'I Selassie I
Who live'th and rain'eth with I'n'I
Continually Definition: royal and grand, like an emperor
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus: “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts, therefore guard accordingly; and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue, and reasonable nature.”
1. The opposite of DEFUNCT is
2. In a poem that appears to _____, E. E. Cummings begins, "Buffalo Bill's defunct."
A. criticize the cowboy's lifestyle
B. mourn the passing of a legend
C. glorify the roles of hunters and trappers
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Even if your listeners haven't heard "defunct" before, they'll probably understand that it means "dead" or "no longer in operation." Why? "De-," meaning "off," is understood, and we hear "funct" and easily link it to "function" and "functional"--words for things that work, things that are in operation.
Could you recall these other words that make use of "de-," meaning "off"?
- To take away something's power to bite, literally or figuratively, is to de____ it.
- To throw something out a window--again, literally or figuratively-- is to de___________ it.
- To reveal something as hogwash (in a sense, to take the nonsense out of it) is to de____ it.
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