The phrase "not working" can be used as an adjective, for example:

My laptop is not working.

What is the noun-form of the adjective "not working"?

E.g. "The not-workingness of my laptop."


You could put a few options

"Brokenness" would be my first choice

"Dysfunctionality" would also work

"Failure" could work depending on the context too.

  • I would actually go for "Disfunctionality", but it isn't a word... – Pacerier Jul 13 '12 at 18:18
  • well, it is. I just spelled it wrong. I edited in the post. – Marcus_33 Jul 13 '12 at 18:20
  • With the Y we have "dysfunctional" which is a word. – GEdgar Jul 13 '12 at 18:21
  • @GEdgar - it's a word, but it's not the right word for this context. Dys- means "with difficulty", not "not". Anyway, I'd go for bustedness. – MT_Head Jul 13 '12 at 19:49

Inoperability could be added to the list of candidates.

Granted, in medicine, inoperable describes being unsuitable for surgury without undue risk (as in, an inoperable tumor).

However, inoperability has another meaning; which Collins describes as the state of being unworkable, or incapable of being operated. TFD lists it as the noun form of inoperable, which means not functioning or inoperative.


I like J.R.'s Inoperability. I might also suggest:

  • incapacitation
  • nonfunctionality
  • paralysis

Malfunction could be used, but it may suggest a compromise of functionality that is less than total.

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