defection


defection
defection, desertion, apostasy mean an abandonment that involves the breaking of a moral or legal bond or tie and that is highly culpable from the point of view of the person, cause, or party abandoned.
Defection emphasizes both the fact of one's falling away and the loss that is sustained by his failure to adhere to his allegiance; in itself as apart from the context it commonly gives no certain indication of motive, though at times disaffection or loss of confidence is connoted
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the conversions are probably balanced by the defections and in some countries the Church seems even to be losing ground— Times Lit. Sup.

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the news of the defection of Lepidus caused the Senate to declare him a public enemy— Buchan

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a single defection would throw the Senate into a deadlock of 48 to 48— Neuberger

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Desertion (see also under ABANDON) presupposes an oath of allegiance or a duty or an obligation to guard, protect, or support, the violation of which constitutes a crime or a distinctly blameworthy act. It also suggests a base motive (as cowardly fear or a desire to shirk)
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the penalty for desertion from an army in time of war is usually death

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many persons considered Wordsworth's defection from the liberal cause a desertion

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the crisis of our times is not such as to justify desertion of basic traditions— Chapman

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Apostasy implies a repudiation of something one has formerly and voluntarily professed; it connotes therefore a retreat (as in weakness) from a position or stand one has taken. The term is used chiefly with reference to a repudiation of religious beliefs, but it is employed also when moral, philosophical, or other principles are involved
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when Raphael . . . had forewarned Adam, by dire example, to beware apostasyMilton

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marriage is to me apostasy . . . sale of my birthright, shameful surrender— Shaw

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my political apostasy ... was attended with no diminution of reverence for that great citizen army that defended and saved the Union— Nicholson

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Analogous words: disaffection, alienation, estrangement (see corresponding verbs at ESTRANGE): abandonment, forsaking (see corresponding verbs at ABANDON)
Contrasted words: faithfulness, loyalty, constancy (see corresponding adjectives at FAITHFUL): allegiance, *fidelity, fealty

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • défection — [ defɛksjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1680; « éclipse » XIIIe; lat. defectio, de deficere → défectif 1 ♦ Abandon (par qqn) d une cause, d un parti. ⇒ désertion. Défection générale, massive. On signale la défection de nombreux militants. Faire défection :… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • défection — DÉFECTION. s. f. Abandonnement d un parti auquel on est lié. Il se dit De sujets qui abandonnent leur Prince, de troupes qui abandonnent leur Général, d alliés qui abandonnent leurs alliés. Apres la défection de ces troupes, il ne fut plus en… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Defection — De*fec tion, n. [L. defectio: cf. F. d[ e]fection. See {Defect}.] Act of abandoning a person or cause to which one is bound by allegiance or duty, or to which one has attached himself; desertion; failure in duty; a falling away; apostasy;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • defection — Defection. s. f. Revolte, rebellion, soustraction de l obeïssance deuë. Il ne se dit guere qu en parlant des Troupes lorsqu elles se mutinent & abandonnent le service. Aprés la defection de ses troupes, il ne fut plus en estat de disputer l… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Defection — Defection, lat., Abfall; Schwäche …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • defection — index abandonment (desertion), abjuration, absence (nonattendance), bad faith, dereliction, desertion …   Law dictionary

  • defection — 1540s, action of failing; 1550s, action of deserting a party, leader, etc. from L. defectionem (nom. defectio) desertion, revolt, failure, noun of action from pp. stem of deficere (see DEFICIENT (Cf. deficient)). Originally used often of faith …   Etymology dictionary

  • defection — [n] abandonment alienation, apostasy, backsliding, deficiency, dereliction, desertion, disaffection, disloyalty, disownment, divorce, estrangement, failing, failure, faithlessness, forsaking, lack, parting, rebellion, recreancy, rejection,… …   New thesaurus

  • defection — [dē fek′shən, difek′shən] n. [L defectio < defectus: see DEFECT] 1. abandonment of loyalty, duty, or principle; desertion 2. the act of defecting from one s country 3. a failing or failure …   English World dictionary

  • Defection — Defector redirects here. For other uses, see Defector (disambiguation). In politics, a defector is a person who gives up allegiance to one state or political entity in exchange for allegiance to another. More broadly, it involves abandoning a… …   Wikipedia


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