Defect Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Defect, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Defect?

n. An imperfection so great that the item cannot be utilized, such as faulty breaks in a car. Minor defects reduce the value of the item, but do not affect its ability to be utilized. For example: a scratch on the car’s bumper.

History and Meaning of Defect

A defect is an imperfection, flaw, or shortcoming in an item that prevents it from serving its intended purpose. It can range from a small scratch or dent on an object to a major flaw that makes the item completely unusable. The concept of defects has been around for a long time, with ancient civilizations creating standards for the quality of products.

In the legal context, a defect can refer to a faulty product, such as a car with malfunctioning brakes, or a defect in a property that renders it unsafe for occupancy. In contract law, a defect can also refer to a breach of warranty, where a product does not meet the standards of quality promised by the seller.

Examples of Defect

  1. A car with a faulty engine is considered to have a defect.
  2. A toy with sharp edges that can injure a child is a defective product.
  3. A house with a leaky roof is a defective property.
  4. A piece of clothing with a broken zipper is considered to have a minor defect.
  5. A smartphone with a malfunctioning screen is a defective electronic item.

Legal Terms Similar to Defect

  1. Breach of warranty: This is a legal term used when a seller breaches the warranty by selling a defective product.
  2. Negligence: This is a legal concept used when a person fails to exercise reasonable care, leading to a defective or dangerous product
  3. Product liability: This is a legal term used to describe the responsibility of a manufacturer or seller for injuries caused by a defective product.