Definition of flaw noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//flɔː//
    ; NAmE NAmE//flɔː//
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  1. 1a mistake in something that means that it is not correct or does not work correctly synonym defect, fault The argument is full of fundamental flaws. flaw in something The report reveals fatal flaws in security at the airport. There is still a basic flaw in your selection procedure.
  2. 2flaw (in something) a crack or fault in something that makes it less attractive or valuable The vase is in excellent condition except for a few small flaws in its base.
  3. 3flaw (in somebody/something) a weakness in somebody’s character There is always a flaw in the character of a tragic hero.
  4. Word OriginMiddle 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 cent.).Extra examples Flaws have appeared in the new version of the software. It took me a long time to find the flaw in her logic. The markets have exposed the fatal flaw in the government’s economic policy. Unfortunately, this plate has a slight flaw in it. one of the major flaws in his character A fundamental flaw had been discovered in the planning of the new system. After a short time, the flaws in his new bride’s character became more apparent. Engineers have detected serious design flaws. The hero’s fatal flaw is ambition. The report revealed serious flaws in security at the airport. There are some very basic flaws in his argument.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: flaw