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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce dysfunctional (audio)

Dictionary definition of dysfunctional

Not operating or functioning as it should, often due to problems, flaws, or breakdowns within a system, organization, or relationship.
"Their marriage became dysfunctional due to constant arguing and a lack of mutual respect."

Detailed meaning of dysfunctional

When a situation, entity, or dynamic is characterized as dysfunctional, it implies that it is marked by inefficiency, dysfunction, or impaired performance. Dysfunctional families, for instance, may exhibit patterns of communication or behavior that hinder healthy relationships and emotional well-being. In organizational contexts, a dysfunctional team or workplace may suffer from internal conflicts, lack of productivity, or mismanagement that disrupts their effectiveness. Overall, "dysfunctional" underscores the notion of a breakdown or malfunction in a system, group, or relationship, resulting in difficulties or challenges in achieving its intended goals or maintaining a healthy state.

Example sentences containing dysfunctional

1. The dysfunctional computer system crashed regularly, causing frustration.
2. The dysfunctional family's lack of communication led to constant conflict.
3. The company's dysfunctional work culture hampered employee morale.
4. The dysfunctional elevator, often out of order, inconvenienced residents.
5. Their dysfunctional business partnership resulted in frequent disputes.
6. The government's dysfunctional policies sparked widespread unrest.

History and etymology of dysfunctional

The adjective 'dysfunctional' is formed by combining two distinct elements. The prefix 'dys-' comes from the Greek word 'dus,' meaning 'bad' or 'abnormal,' and the word 'functional' is derived from the Latin 'functio,' which means 'performance' or 'execution.' Therefore, 'dysfunctional' etymologically conveys the idea of something that is 'abnormally or poorly performing' and not operating as it should. It aptly describes systems, organizations, or relationships that suffer from problems, flaws, or breakdowns, leading to their failure to function effectively. The etymology of 'dysfunctional' highlights its root concept of something being 'out of order' or 'malfunctioning,' underscoring its common usage to depict situations or entities that are not operating in a healthy or efficient manner.

Quiz: Find the meaning of dysfunctional

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Further usage examples of dysfunctional

1. The team's dysfunctional group dynamics stymied project progress.
2. Over time, their once-loving relationship became dysfunctional.
3. The dysfunctional school system urgently required comprehensive reform.
4. The financially troubled and dysfunctional organization faced closure.
5. The committee's dysfunctional meetings accomplished little, wasting time.
6. The dysfunctional dishwasher frequently malfunctioned, causing leaks.
7. The nation's dysfunctional government lacked effective leadership.
8. The project suffered from a dysfunctional workflow, causing delays.
9. The dysfunctional management team's decisions led to high employee turnover.
10. The family depicted in the movie was highly dysfunctional, with constant conflicts and lack of communication.
11. The old computer system was dysfunctional, causing frequent delays in processing requests.
12. The company's dysfunctional management led to low employee morale and high turnover.
13. The therapist specialized in helping individuals from dysfunctional backgrounds build healthy relationships.
14. The school administration was dysfunctional, and as a result, the students' needs were not being met properly.
15. She managed to achieve great success despite growing up in a dysfunctional family.
16. The city’s dysfunctional public transportation system was notorious for its unreliability and frequent breakdowns.
17. The characters in the sitcom were a lovable but dysfunctional group of friends.
18. The organization's dysfunctional communication channels led to widespread confusion during the crisis.
19. The politician argued that dysfunctional bureaucracy was the root cause of inefficiency in the government.
20. Jane tried to distance herself from the dysfunctional relationships of her past.
21. The committee was dysfunctional, with members having conflicting agendas and no one willing to compromise.
22. The writer’s memoir detailed his journey from a dysfunctional childhood to a successful literary career.
23. The CEO was determined to reform the company’s dysfunctional corporate culture.



malfunctioning, functional, effective, efficient


Adversities and Complications, Adversity and Obstacle, Problematic and Annoying

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