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I was thinking of the word "dysfunction" to describe 'Not correctly and properly maintain for quite a long time' for electrical devices & heavy machinery. However, personally I also feel quite inappropriate to use that word to describe it.

Are there better word(s) or term(s) to describe it?

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closed as general reference by simchona, kiamlaluno, Robert Cartaino Jan 3 '12 at 23:15

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

We try to avoid using this site for word requests where a thesaurus or other tool would suffice. If you have a particularly interesting problem to solve, all we ask is that you put a bit of effort and research into the question and let us know what problem you are actually trying to solve. See: meta.english.stackexchange.com/questions/1654/… or meta.english.stackexchange.com/questions/2160/… – Robert Cartaino Jan 3 '12 at 23:16
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Which word to use, in part, depends on whether you want to indicate only that the devices and machinery have not been properly maintained or also the resulting impaired function.

Neglected and untended, would describe something not taken care of, as would quite a few synonyms, such as abandonded, overlooked, or forgotten, and one might assume items so described would not be working well.

Dilapidated and decrepit, as well as ramshackle and rickety, are similar, and would give a stronger suggestion that the item is falling apart or broken down and likely not working well or at all as a result of neglect.

You could use dysfunctional, as well as debilitated, crippled, impaired, or unusable, but these don't really indicate that the condition is the result of neglect.

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+1 I marked your answer as correct since you have provide far more information that I expected. Good. – Larry Morries Jan 3 '12 at 9:24
Oh, good. I'm glad you found it useful, because as I was working on this answer, I saw that Gnawme had posted neglected, which was my first thought as well, but I always tend toward the more complicated response--not always to the best effect! – sarah Jan 3 '12 at 9:37
@sarah I went for the quick strike -- which almost worked. Have an upvote to celebrate. – Gnawme Jan 3 '12 at 17:11
@Gnawme You have no idea how often this happens to me, specifically with your answers! Thanks for the upvote. – sarah Jan 4 '12 at 7:27

You can describe anything that hasn't been properly maintained as neglected.

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You beat me to it. +1 – user11550 Jan 3 '12 at 6:52
@Mahnax [Your adjective here] minds think alike. :-b – Gnawme Jan 3 '12 at 7:01
My adjective is probably redonkulous. – user11550 Jan 3 '12 at 7:09
Kidding, of course. – user11550 Jan 3 '12 at 7:09
@Mahnax I like it nonetheless. It's the early leader for Neologism of the Year. – Gnawme Jan 3 '12 at 7:16

The word Dismantled can be used to describe devices that are disabled and have become useless due to improper maintenance.

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I noted that Dismantled means To take apart; disassemble; tear down; To strip of furnishings or equipment; To strip of covering or clothing. I had another word that just come into my mind while writing this comment - Break Down but imo, I don't think it is suitable because I want to emphases that the device become useless / disabled due to incorrect and improperly maintenance. – Larry Morries Jan 3 '12 at 6:28

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