Definition of malfunction in English:



  • (of a piece of equipment or machinery) fail to function normally.

    ‘the unit is clearly malfunctioning’
    • ‘In North Carolina's 2002 general election, six touch-screen machines malfunctioned and deleted 436 electronic ballots.’
    • ‘Customers were annoyed when the boxes ran out of papers or the coin mechanism malfunctioned, as it often did.’
    • ‘If a locking device is malfunctioning, contact the management office immediately.’
    • ‘The investigations that we undertook concluded that there was no evidence to indicate the valve had malfunctioned.’
    • ‘An elevator had malfunctioned, setting off the alarm, he explained.’
    • ‘A backup recorder also is helpful in case one machine malfunctions.’
    • ‘A radiation therapy device malfunctioned, delivering lethal radiation doses at several medical facilities.’
    • ‘But last night, for the second time in six months, my home computer malfunctioned.’
    • ‘That progress ended when the pump malfunctioned.’
    • ‘She tried to back up, but the bike's propulsion systems were malfunctioning.’
    • ‘But before her dignity had a chance to recover, her wardrobe malfunctioned.’
    • ‘Maybe the computer malfunctioned and sealed everyone in for no reason at all?’
    • ‘When a propeller malfunctions, it gets everyone's attention.’
    • ‘She tried pulling it back up, and it started to shake through the air, several turbine engines malfunctioned.’
    • ‘The system also provides a full set of alarms if the system is malfunctioning.’
    • ‘She also has a history of electronic equipment malfunctioning in her presence.’
    • ‘Then the thought of all the other machines malfunctioning came into his mind.’
    • ‘Only if the machine malfunctions should there be these manual counts.’
    • ‘It was only later that tests revealed he had suffered a minor heart attack, possibly in the hours before his machine malfunctioned.’
    crash, develop a fault, go wrong, break down, break, act up, be defective, be faulty, fail, cease to function, cease to work, stop working
    conk out, go kaput, fall over
    play up, pack up
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  • A failure to function normally.

    ‘a computer malfunction’
    [mass noun] ‘they were sent back to the manufacturers at the first sign of malfunction’
    • ‘I've got a couple of equipment malfunctions which I'm struggling with.’
    • ‘Eventually we learned the crash was caused by a mechanical malfunction, but the law still stands.’
    • ‘Doc said it could be a major malfunction in his digestive tract, requiring surgery.’
    • ‘The most common reasons given by airlines for delayed flights were engine malfunction and inappropriate on-board service facilities.’
    • ‘The power failure was caused by an equipment malfunction at about 9pm on Monday night.’
    • ‘I told tower we had to troubleshoot a minor malfunction.’
    • ‘Will operation in environments with significantly higher ambient temperatures cause a pump malfunction?’
    • ‘There were no malfunctions of any kind, which is hardly surprising.’
    • ‘Equipment malfunctions may result from poor design, incomplete qualification, or calibration or maintenance issues.’
    • ‘Remember that institutions must file a report with the FDA whether device malfunction or user error causes injury.’
    • ‘As a result, many suffered major mechanical malfunctions during the battle.’
    • ‘There seemed to be some sort of electrical malfunction, some sort of short circuit.’
    • ‘The navy announces a submarine has suffered a malfunction but says it only has been missing for one day.’
    • ‘Multiple cables connected these components and would frequently fail or come loose causing system malfunctions.’
    • ‘The cause of the disaster was described as a " mechanical malfunction".’
    • ‘If you are the flight engineer, notify the pilot of any engine malfunction.’
    • ‘Inevitably somebody gets killed unless there is a technical malfunction with the bomb or a little luck.’
    • ‘There were no malfunctions of any kind with any of the ball or duty loads.’
    • ‘I scolded myself for not noticing this while we were troubleshooting the actual malfunction.’
    • ‘There is a lot of stress involved in a diversion due to technical malfunction.’
    crash, breakdown, fault, failure, defect, flaw, collapse, impairment
    View synonyms