Main definitions of flaw in English

: flaw1flaw2

flaw1

noun

  • 1A mark, blemish, or other imperfection which mars a substance or object.

    ‘a flaw in the glass’
    • ‘The image has many flaws: nicks, scratches, persistent lines down the center, jitter, and a host of other problems.’
    • ‘As is predictable in a 30-year-old print, we spot occasional damage and flaws here and there.’
    • ‘I sometimes use vintage fabrics, and these tend to have flaws: small marks, fading, tiny pinholes are all typical of vintage fabric.’
    • ‘Scratches, marks, dents, stains, blemishes or flaws are worth money to you, because they mean price reductions!’
    • ‘The detail in the image is sharp without any major flaws or imperfections marring the image.’
    • ‘And nearly half would attempt to hide stains and other flaws by putting a chair or a plant pot over a mark on the carpet.’
    • ‘Colors are natural and fully-saturated, and there are few source flaws like scratches or pock-marks.’
    • ‘Perfect good looks like his can sometimes turn me off - it's the little flaws and imperfections which give a man character - but not tonight.’
    • ‘The video transfer captures those colors nicely, and there are no marks or digital flaws to detract from the enjoyment of the film.’
    • ‘Also, carefully check for any flaws or imperfections.’
    • ‘Her tanned skin was angelic, he couldn't find a single flaw or blemish.’
    • ‘Why shouldn't I just pay someone to fix my every flaw, cover my every blemish and erase my every imperfection?’
    • ‘Foundations and powders were layered on - applied to hide our skin as well as our self-perceived flaws and imperfections.’
    • ‘I can point out where flaws and blemishes have been removed as well as body alterations made.’
    • ‘Evaluate each garment and clearly mark stains, flaws or worn areas.’
    • ‘It shows every bulge, every stretch mark, and every flaw.’
    • ‘She found it a relief not to be examining her posture for flaws and imperfections.’
    • ‘Whereas a translation error is like an inkblot marring one copy of a book, a mutation is a flaw in the printing plate, reproduced in every copy.’
    • ‘Hanna Gregory stared at her reflection on the mirror, searching for flaws and imperfections on herself.’
    • ‘As expected from such a new release, this is a great looking picture that shows hardly any imperfections or flaws.’
    defect, blemish, fault, imperfection, deficiency, weakness, weak point, weak spot, inadequacy, shortcoming, limitation, failing, foible
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A fault or weakness in a person's character.
      ‘he had his flaws, but he was still a great teacher’
      • ‘Each character, despite their flaws, is like ourselves or someone we know.’
      • ‘I worried I would overlook huge character flaws because I was somehow chemically engineered to be in unhealthy relationships.’
      • ‘Despite the obvious flaws of these characters, the film neither picks sides between the two sisters, nor does it condemn the failings of the two.’
      • ‘Experiencing depression after childbirth isn't a character flaw or a weakness.’
      • ‘He pointed out my character flaws without mercy or compassion.’
      • ‘He conveys John's hesitancy as a lack of assertiveness, rather than a character flaw.’
      • ‘These are not trivial errors on your part, they reveal a fundamental flaw in your character.’
      • ‘Doesn't this self-serving recklessness suggest a character flaw, a lack of seriousness, some failure of judgement?’
      • ‘Lack of clarity is not a character flaw, so be kind to yourself, but take action.’
      • ‘‘I think I'm interested in human characters that show flaws and virtues,’ he says.’
      • ‘In 1992, liberals ignored their man's reputation for personal and political character flaws because he looked like a winner.’
      • ‘What she calls jokes often seem to me thinly disguised reproaches of his behaviour or character flaws, the only difference is that she laughs afterwards.’
      • ‘I have many character flaws, but then again, who doesn't?’
      • ‘Do you think they just have a screenwriting computer programme that builds in all these character flaws and foibles?’
      • ‘Fitz is a character filled with flaws and faults, all just waiting for a fissure to weep and seep out of.’
      • ‘Like the majority of fat women, being fat for me was indicative of severe depression, character flaws, laziness, lack of self-respect and greed.’
      • ‘Still he shows the sensitivity to show the weakness, vulnerabilities, and flaws of the character.’
      • ‘For all the older generation's flaws, the younger characters of the film are weaker, more self-centered and less promising.’
      • ‘It's a wonderful, quirky friendship that evolves and blossoms, in spite of the two main characters and their flaws.’
      • ‘We all have character flaws and being judgemental is not my style.’
      defect, blemish, fault, imperfection, deficiency, weakness, weak point, weak spot, inadequacy, shortcoming, limitation, failing, foible
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A mistake or shortcoming in a plan, theory, etc. which causes it to fail or reduces its effectiveness.
      ‘there were fundamental flaws in the case for reforming local government’
      • ‘Leftists have been known to use literary theory to demonstrate flaws in science.’
      • ‘Identify positive team and individual actions, flaws in the plan, and areas for improvement.’
      • ‘We found people were willing to be encouraging while at the same time pointing out gaping flaws in our plans!’
      • ‘As Veil continued to dig, he discovered two major flaws in his plan.’
      • ‘How could he fail to see the flaws in the evidence?’
      • ‘Any flaws in the plans should be exposed by the exercises that will be sprung on countries without prior warning over the next two months.’
      • ‘Any flaws in my plan that he is able to spot will be corrected before implementation.’
      • ‘I can tell you from experience that the public financing system, despite numerous flaws in reporting and timing requirements, works.’
      • ‘Anthony was prepared to point out several flaws in this plan, but he kept his mouth shut.’
      • ‘Taken as a whole, there are more strengths than flaws in the floor plan.’
      • ‘But if recent tragic events have exposed flaws in your long-term plan, get to work.’
      • ‘It's not going to make up for fundamental flaws in your business plan or training.’
      • ‘Complaints have also been made to the Ombudsman alleging flaws in planning procedures, but these have been rejected.’
      • ‘Incredibly, he attempts to deflect criticism toward the political leadership for the fundamental flaws in the plan.’
      • ‘Peer review has long been criticised for failing to identify flaws in research.’
      • ‘If one military commander can see flaws in a plan others should too.’
      • ‘Its trading business was launched in 1990, but big flaws in the business plan were already apparent to insiders by 1995.’
      • ‘What are the fundamental flaws in this theory or paradigm?’
      • ‘He demonstrates logical flaws in the theory and points out its fallacies.’
      • ‘Now you may remember that earlier I told you there were flaws in my plan.’
      defect, blemish, fault, imperfection, deficiency, weakness, weak point, weak spot, inadequacy, shortcoming, limitation, failing, foible
      View synonyms

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Mar, weaken, or invalidate (something)

    ‘the computer game was flawed by poor programming’
    • ‘And it flaws the doctrine of unilateral preemption, despite the fact you had a smattering of other countries that put up some troops that went in.’
    • ‘After a few days of use I can't flaw the actual display at all.’
    • ‘There was no darkness flawing my skin, no dull shadow or slight imperfection to suggest anything had blemished its pale surface.’
    • ‘Thus, although these boys view Australia as a kind of ‘Utopia’, the attitudes of many Australians flaw this ideal.’
    • ‘In her decision, Judge Coral Shaw found that the employer's investigation was flawed and the report was invalid and should be set aside.’
    • ‘On the one hand, this is because I have been unable to flaw the reasoning presented in the argument.’
    • ‘Receiving a nod his crooked half smile appeared, flawing his elegant features.’
    • ‘These groups point out details that might flaw a study, like that researchers used too weak a dose or treated patients for too short a time.’
    • ‘It was meant as a rebuke but often resulted in flawing the final sculpture; it became too finished, too chaste, and, at times, icily dull.’
    • ‘Such analysis, performed in the same cell populations, was not biased by experimental or interindividual variations which flaw the majority of studies on this subject.’
    • ‘Others, however, believe the experiments were flawed and thus invalid.’
    • ‘He remembers them all, and everyone in their families - and that is surely one of the keys to his success, even if it inevitably flaws his book.’

Origin

Middle English: perhaps from Old Norse flaga ‘slab’. The original sense was ‘a flake of snow’, later, ‘a fragment or splinter’, hence ‘a defect or imperfection’ (late 15th century).

Pronunciation

flaw

/flɔː/

Main definitions of flaw in English

: flaw1flaw2

flaw2

noun

literary
  • A squall of wind; a short storm.

    • ‘High cirrus clouds form white streaks across its surface and a number of dark storms act as flaws and focus for the eye.’

Origin

Early 16th century: probably from Middle Dutch vlāghe, Middle Low German vlāge.

Pronunciation

flaw

/flɔː/