Main definitions of flaw in English

: flaw1flaw2

flaw1

noun

  • 1A mark, fault, or other imperfection that mars a substance or object.

    ‘plates with flaws in them were sold at the outlet store’
    • ‘The video transfer captures those colors nicely, and there are no marks or digital flaws to detract from the enjoyment of the film.’
    • ‘It shows every bulge, every stretch mark, and every flaw.’
    • ‘Foundations and powders were layered on - applied to hide our skin as well as our self-perceived flaws and imperfections.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Hanna Gregory stared at her reflection on the mirror, searching for flaws and imperfections on herself.’
    • ‘Colors are natural and fully-saturated, and there are few source flaws like scratches or pock-marks.’
    • ‘Why shouldn't I just pay someone to fix my every flaw, cover my every blemish and erase my every imperfection?’
    • ‘I can point out where flaws and blemishes have been removed as well as body alterations made.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The detail in the image is sharp without any major flaws or imperfections marring the image.’
    • ‘Her tanned skin was angelic, he couldn't find a single flaw or blemish.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Evaluate each garment and clearly mark stains, flaws or worn areas.’
    • ‘She found it a relief not to be examining her posture for flaws and imperfections.’
    • ‘The image has many flaws: nicks, scratches, persistent lines down the center, jitter, and a host of other problems.’
    • ‘Scratches, marks, dents, stains, blemishes or flaws are worth money to you, because they mean price reductions!’
    • ‘Also, carefully check for any flaws or 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.’
    • ‘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
    shortfall, insufficiency, lack, want, omission
    snag, kink, deformity, taint, crack, fissure, break, tear, split, scratch, chip, fracture, spot
    mistake, error
    bug, virus
    glitch, gremlin
    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’
      • ‘Still he shows the sensitivity to show the weakness, vulnerabilities, and flaws of the character.’
      • ‘‘I think I'm interested in human characters that show flaws and virtues,’ he says.’
      • ‘These are not trivial errors on your part, they reveal a fundamental flaw in your character.’
      • ‘I have many character flaws, but then again, who doesn't?’
      • ‘He pointed out my character flaws without mercy or compassion.’
      • ‘Each character, despite their flaws, is like ourselves or someone we know.’
      • ‘Fitz is a character filled with flaws and faults, all just waiting for a fissure to weep and seep out of.’
      • ‘Do you think they just have a screenwriting computer programme that builds in all these character flaws and foibles?’
      • ‘We all have character flaws and being judgemental is not my style.’
      • ‘He conveys John's hesitancy as a lack of assertiveness, rather than a character flaw.’
      • ‘It's a wonderful, quirky friendship that evolves and blossoms, in spite of the two main characters and their flaws.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For all the older generation's flaws, the younger characters of the film are weaker, more self-centered and less promising.’
      • ‘I worried I would overlook huge character flaws because I was somehow chemically engineered to be in unhealthy relationships.’
      • ‘Experiencing depression after childbirth isn't a character flaw or a weakness.’
      • ‘Lack of clarity is not a character flaw, so be kind to yourself, but take action.’
      • ‘Doesn't this self-serving recklessness suggest a character flaw, a lack of seriousness, some failure of judgement?’
      • ‘Like the majority of fat women, being fat for me was indicative of severe depression, character flaws, laziness, lack of self-respect and greed.’
      • ‘In 1992, liberals ignored their man's reputation for personal and political character flaws because he looked like a winner.’
      defect, blemish, fault, imperfection, deficiency, weakness, weak point, weak spot, inadequacy, shortcoming, limitation, failing, foible
      shortfall, insufficiency, lack, want, omission
      snag, kink, deformity, taint, crack, fissure, break, tear, split, scratch, chip, fracture, spot
      mistake, error
      bug, virus
      glitch, gremlin
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A mistake or shortcoming in a plan, theory, or legal document that causes it to fail or reduces its effectiveness.
      ‘there were fundamental flaws in the case for reforming local government’
      • ‘We found people were willing to be encouraging while at the same time pointing out gaping flaws in our plans!’
      • ‘Taken as a whole, there are more strengths than flaws in the floor plan.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As Veil continued to dig, he discovered two major flaws in his plan.’
      • ‘Anthony was prepared to point out several flaws in this plan, but he kept his mouth shut.’
      • ‘What are the fundamental flaws in this theory or paradigm?’
      • ‘Leftists have been known to use literary theory to demonstrate flaws in science.’
      • ‘Incredibly, he attempts to deflect criticism toward the political leadership for the fundamental flaws in the plan.’
      • ‘But if recent tragic events have exposed flaws in your long-term plan, get to work.’
      • ‘How could he fail to see the flaws in the evidence?’
      • ‘Peer review has long been criticised for failing to identify flaws in research.’
      • ‘Its trading business was launched in 1990, but big flaws in the business plan were already apparent to insiders by 1995.’
      • ‘Now you may remember that earlier I told you there were flaws in my plan.’
      • ‘Complaints have also been made to the Ombudsman alleging flaws in planning procedures, but these have been rejected.’
      • ‘I can tell you from experience that the public financing system, despite numerous flaws in reporting and timing requirements, works.’
      • ‘If one military commander can see flaws in a plan others should too.’
      • ‘Identify positive team and individual actions, flaws in the plan, and areas for improvement.’
      • ‘It's not going to make up for fundamental flaws in your business plan or training.’
      • ‘He demonstrates logical flaws in the theory and points out its fallacies.’
      defect, blemish, fault, imperfection, deficiency, weakness, weak point, weak spot, inadequacy, shortcoming, limitation, failing, foible
      shortfall, insufficiency, lack, want, omission
      snag, kink, deformity, taint, crack, fissure, break, tear, split, scratch, chip, fracture, spot
      mistake, error
      bug, virus
      glitch, gremlin
      View synonyms

verb

[WITH OBJECT]usually be flawed
  • (of an imperfection) mar, weaken, or invalidate (something)

    ‘the computer game was flawed by poor programming’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There was no darkness flawing my skin, no dull shadow or slight imperfection to suggest anything had blemished its pale surface.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Others, however, believe the experiments were flawed and thus invalid.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Thus, although these boys view Australia as a kind of ‘Utopia’, the attitudes of many Australians flaw this ideal.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘On the one hand, this is because I have been unable to flaw the reasoning presented in the argument.’
    • ‘In her decision, Judge Coral Shaw found that the employer's investigation was flawed and the report was invalid and should be set aside.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Receiving a nod his crooked half smile appeared, flawing his elegant features.’
    • ‘After a few days of use I can't flaw the actual display at all.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

flaw

/flô/

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.

Pronunciation

flaw

/flô/