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noun def·i·cit \ˈde-fə-sət, British also di-ˈfis-ət or ˈdē-fə-sət\

: an amount (such as an amount of money) that is less than the amount that is needed

: the amount by which a person or team is behind in a game or contest

: a problem that causes a decrease in some ability

Full Definition of DEFICIT

a (1) :  deficiency in amount or quality <a deficit in rainfall> (2) :  a lack or impairment in a functional capacity <cognitive deficits> <a hearing deficit>
b :  disadvantage <scored two runs to overcome a 2–1 deficit>
a :  an excess of expenditure over revenue
b :  a loss in business operations

Examples of DEFICIT

  1. The government is facing a deficit of $3 billion.
  2. We will reduce the federal budget deficit.
  3. The team overcame a four-point deficit to win the game.
  4. She has a slight hearing deficit in her left ear.

Origin of DEFICIT

French déficit, from Latin deficit it is wanting, 3d singular present indicative of deficere
First Known Use: 1782

Other Economics Terms

actuary, compound interest, globalization, indemnity, portfolio, rentier, stagflation, usurer
DEFICIT Defined for Kids


noun def·i·cit \ˈde-fə-sət\

Definition of DEFICIT for Kids

:  a shortage especially in money
Medical Dictionary


noun de·fi·cit \ˈdef-(ə-)sət; British also di-ˈfis-ət, ˈdē-fə-sət\

Medical Definition of DEFICIT

:  a deficiency of a substance <a potassium deficit>; also :  a lack or impairment of a functional capacity <cognitive deficits>
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