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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Defector'

Defector Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    defector n : a person who abandons their duty (as on a military post) [syn: deserter]
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Defector'

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 person, cause or doctrine to whom or to which one is bound by some tie, as of allegiance or duty.

This term is also applied, often pejoratively, to anyone who switches loyalty to another religion, sports team, political party, or other rival faction. In that sense, the defector is often considered a traitor.

The physical act of defection is usually in a manner which violates the laws of the nation or political entity from which the person is seeking to depart. By contrast, mere changes in citizenship, or working with allied militia, usually does not violate any law.

For example, in the 1950s, East Germans were increasingly prohibited from traveling to the Western Federal Republic of Germany where they were automatically regarded as citizens according to Exclusive mandate. The Berlin Wall and fortifications along the Inner German border were erected by the Communist East German Democratic Republic in 1961 to enforce the policy. When people tried to "defect" from the GDR they were to be shot on sight. Several hundred people were killed along the border in their Republikflucht attempt. Official crossings did exist, but permissions to leave temporarily or permanently were seldom granted. On the other hand, the GDR citizenship of some "inconvenient" East Germans was revoked, and they had to leave their home on short notice against their will. Others, like singer Wolf Biermann, were prohibited from returning to the GDR.

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Defector Sample Sentences in News

  • North Korea returns a defector
    Ed Adamczyk PANMUNJOM, South Korea, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- North Korea repatriated a defector from South Korea Thursday, a man who allegedly crossed the border to escape economic problems in the south. Read more on this news related to 'Defector'
  • Yasmani Tomás is getting closer to being a major league free agent
    Cuban defector Yasmani Tomás has been cleared by the U.S. The outfielder is projected to be the next big Cuban signee, following Rusney Castillo, who signed a seven-year, $72.5 million deal with the Red Sox on August 23. Tomas has a thick 6-foot-2, 245-pound build, and his impressive power and age earned him the distinction of being the sixth-best prospect at t Read more on this news related to 'Defector'
  • Boston signs Rusney Castillo to $72 million deal
    Boston spends $72 million on Cuban defector Rusney Castillo The Boston Red Sox have signed Cuban defector Rusney Castillo to a $72 million deal that has been reported at both six years and at seven years.  I suspect the confusion on the length is because it starts this season, though he apparently will be paid a nominal amount for 2014, with Castillo getting arou Read more on this news related to 'Defector'

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