DEFINITION of 'Defunct'

The condition of a company, whether publicly traded or private, that has gone bankrupt and ceased to exist. If the company was publicly traded, it will be delisted from the exchange where it was listed, and its stock will be worth nothing.

This term also applies to currencies that are no longer in circulation.


In exceptional situations, the Securities and Exchange Commission does allow the stock of a defunct company to continue to trade for a period of time, but this is as a result of legal technicalities rather than a particular right or privilege.

History has seen many defunct currencies (e.g. the Greek drachma and the Dutch guilder). Currencies can become defunct for many reasons - for example, due to political upheaval or revolution, or because the currency has become worthless in the foreign exchange market.

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  1. What are the rules behind the delisting of a stock?

    Find out the criteria for a company to remain listed on a stock exchange. Learn what actions would lead to a security being ... Read Answer >>
  2. How does the law of supply and demand affect the stock market?

    Find out how the law of supply and demand affects the stock market, and how it determines the prices of individual stocks ... Read Answer >>
  3. What is foreign exchange?

    Foreign exchange, or Forex, is the conversion of one country's currency into that of another. In a free economy, a country's ... Read Answer >>
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