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I think there is a word to describe that a certain problem in a product was cause by a defect that inherently existed in the product from the start as opposed to something that broke during the usage of the product.

Inherent is close, but I think there is some more precise word for it.

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  • I believe the Microsoft terminology is "undocumented feature". :-|
    – Widmerpool
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 11:29

5 Answers 5

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I don't see that "inherent" is imprecise. It's derived from the Latin for "sticking to", so it has the meaning of inextricable. You could use "intrinsic", which carries the connotation of "essentially inside". Or "innate", which has the meaning of instilled from the beginning, i.e., "from birth".

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  • Actually it's a typo of mine - I meant inherent (as written in the 1st paragraph of the original question). I'm almost sure there is a more precise word that describes this.
    – traveh
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 7:52
  • I fixed the original post, but you can view the original question and see I wrote "inherently" in the first paragraph.
    – traveh
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 7:53
  • Sorry, I should have read more closely. I don't see that "inherent" is imprecise. It's derived from the Latin for "sticking to," so it has the meaning of inextricable. You could use "intrinsic," which carries the connotation of essentially inside. Or "innate," which has the meaning of instilled from the beginning, i.e., "from birth."
    – deadrat
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 8:01
  • Those are all pretty good. If you could edit you answer and add them I will gladly accept it.
    – traveh
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 8:09
  • Both inherent and intrinsic would seem to indicate problems with the product as designed, rather than problems introduced during manufacturing. OP is ambigous as to which of these apply.
    – Taemyr
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 13:18
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In the UK we'd say a product 'has a design flaw' or 'is inherently faulty/flawed,'

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  • Also an excellent answer my friend! I'm afraid there are too many answers here, so I can only upvote it :)
    – traveh
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 8:25
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The word intrinsic describes the inbuilt nature of something.

A flaw from the design would be intrinsic to the product. It is a part of the product itself, not something added later by wear and tear.

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  • That's excellent, but have been suggested by deadrat in a comment a couple of minute before. I will upvote your answer though in a minute once I have 15 rep :)
    – traveh
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 8:10
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The other answers give 'inherent' and 'intrinsic'. This would usually be used to refer to problems that are an accepted part of the design of the product. The 640KB limit was an inherent limitation of MS-DOS.

A design defect is a flaw in the design of the product, which prevents the product from functioning in the intended manner.

A manufacturing defect is a flaw in the product that was introduced during the manufacture of said product.

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I think that Flaw, as in a Flawed diamond, describes an inherent problem well in fewer words.

Inherent is a good word to describe the flaw, but you didn't say if the flaw was of design or manufacturing. If you're attempting to get redress, it's important to distinguish a "manufacturing flaw" (they messed up making it) as opposed to a design flaw (this item was poorly conceived). The former is much more likely to get immediate redress, but the second at best will cause a new model or version.

If the product is software you can also use the word "bug" to describe any error that occurs.

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