Definition of dysfunctional in English:



  • 1Not operating normally or properly.

    ‘the telephones are dysfunctional’
    • ‘Government stonewalling and a dysfunctional justice system also jeopardized the case.’
    • ‘His distaste for computers runs deeper than the everyday annoyance of dysfunctional parts.’
    • ‘The international system for resettling refugees is highly dysfunctional.’
    • ‘Did your lab reach the stage where it was quite dysfunctional in its operation?’
    • ‘He said the country has a housing sector which is basically dysfunctional in terms of the tax structure.’
    • ‘Can you solve the mystery of the dysfunctional car alarms?’
    • ‘It is not just the athletes themselves who are growing old with dysfunctional bodies and disturbed minds.’
    • ‘It is such a pity this has to be spoiled by a sewage system that is obviously over loaded or very dysfunctional or both.’
    • ‘The system as a whole becomes inefficient and dysfunctional and the people are alienated further from it and the leaders.’
    • ‘These modulate the neuronal circuits that are thought to be dysfunctional in such disorders.’
    • ‘Members of the environment group are now surveying footpaths again for stiles that have become dysfunctional since the last survey.’
    • ‘Some elements of dysfunctional schemas may only be operative under such circumstances.’
    • ‘Pushing children into dysfunctional or poorly functioning schools is making a mockery of the right to education.’
    • ‘Without that, the mechanism of justice delivery would become dysfunctional.’
    • ‘There is evidence linking dysfunctional breathing with respiratory disorders.’
    • ‘It's not a threat to write a book about a dysfunctional intelligence organization.’
    • ‘We apologise for the lack of lighting, the bare concrete walls and the dysfunctional information monitors in this part of the station.’
    • ‘Streetlights, even on the main roads, have been dysfunctional for nearly 20 days now.’
    troubled, distressed, unsettled, upset, distraught
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Unable to deal adequately with normal social relations.
      ‘an emotionally dysfunctional businessman’
      ‘dysfunctional families’
      • ‘Unfortunately, he was just as dysfunctional in his own personal life as they in theirs.’
      • ‘Rambling and anecdotal, the dysfunctional family's tale is charming if you allow it to move at its own pace.’
      • ‘But being in charge of a team that included known dysfunctional miscreants was hardly news to him.’
      • ‘Their brother flees from their dysfunctional family to the Army as soon as he is old enough to enlist.’
      • ‘The human devastation created by these sorts of dysfunctional families is profound.’
      • ‘This business attracts people who have drug and alcohol problems, who are dysfunctional, who are misfits.’
      • ‘It's a dark, brooding look at a dysfunctional modern family caught up in the traditions of contemporary life.’
      • ‘The play features Peter and Aggie, a dysfunctional couple who are both dealing with their own past traumas.’
      • ‘I know what's right and wrong and if I did something wrong I would not say that it's because I had a dysfunctional family.’
      • ‘Oh, and did I mention that we could possibly have even the most dysfunctional family ever?’
      • ‘Scorned by society, forced into retirement or seconded into secret service these heroes are a dysfunctional bunch.’
      • ‘He had fallen out with his wealthy and wildly dysfunctional southern family and didn't want them to reclaim his remains.’
      • ‘These kids are as young as 10, homeless, and from pretty dysfunctional families.’
      • ‘His family is gravely dysfunctional, showing an extreme level of expressed emotion.’
      • ‘There are no words for how dysfunctional she is, and I can't explain it.’
      • ‘They're an entirely dysfunctional lot, from a long line of eccentric ancestors that includes a couple of human cannonballs.’
      • ‘She herself says that her dysfunctional family has actually weirdly helped her career.’
      • ‘I also want to take the time to thank you, my dear readers who are like my extended dysfunctional family.’
      • ‘It is a similar theme - the family so dysfunctional that it is but one step from the abyss of collapse.’
      • ‘In therapy-speak, they call them dysfunctional families, you know.’