Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To fail to function.
  • intransitive v. To function improperly.
  • n. Failure to function.
  • n. Faulty or abnormal functioning.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. faulty functioning
  • n. failure to function
  • v. to function improperly
  • v. to fail to function

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. fail to function or function improperly
  • n. a failure to function normally

Etymologies

From mal- ("bad, incorrect") + function (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The cause of the malfunction is under investigation, she said.

    Commuter trains among those snagged by Norfolk Southern malfunction

  • The reason for the character malfunction is probably that we've used up the yearly quota of the letter Å with our frivolous mangling of the English language to better suit the spirit of Åcon.

    It Lives!

  • The reason for the malfunction is to the man's brand new 2400 baud modem (!) is suitably humorous as well, and not the giveaway it is in other collections in which this story appears.

    REVIEW: Isaac Asimov's Halloween edited by Gardner Dozois and Sheila Williams

  • Whether they came under enemy fire or had a piece of navigation equipment malfunction is anyone's guess.

    Thoresen, Donald N.

  • I’m not sure what his major malfunction is – maybe it is a Massachusetts thing – but hopefully if push comes to shove they can just do without the votes of people like Frank.

    Matthew Yglesias » Panic! at the Caucus Meeting

  • Steve sounds uncharacteristically nervous, his voice quivering as he announces the malfunction, which is pilot-speak for everything you don't want to say, for nothing anyone wants to hear.

    Confetti Love

  • Steve sounds nervous as he announces the malfunction, which is pilot-speak for everything you don't want to say, for nothing anyone wants to hear.

    Confetti

  • Having experienced pilots in planes when there is a malfunction is a good thing.

    Choke

  • The photo-finish camera at Winchester races had been on the blink last time out, though the trouble (more pompously classified as a malfunction) had happened to another judge, not Christopher Haig.

    The Elvis Latte

  • We are replacing the old strings as they malfunction, which is surprisingly often.

    Sustainable Design Update » Blog Archive » LED Christmas

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