If you have a device, e.g. sensor, which currently is in a state, in which it does not work (e.g. speed too high), what would be the correct term to express that ?


There are various words that might apply, depending on the device and context concerned.

They include stopped (for a clock or similar), out of order, faulty, defective, inoperable and broken.

There are also expressions such as playing up (for an intermittent fault), on the blink and out of commission (for a device that has been withdrawn from service).

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  • running too fast, for the example given, too. – Lambie Nov 4 '18 at 19:00

If the sensor is not broken, but is being asked to measure something that it wasn't designed to measure, you might say "out of range of the sensor".

The voltmeter has a range of 0-100V. If you go out of range you may damage the delicate components inside the sensor.

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