deficiency

noun
de·​fi·​cien·​cy | \di-ˈfi-shən-sē \
plural deficiencies

Definition of deficiency 

1 : the quality or state of being defective or of lacking some necessary quality or element : the quality or state of being deficient : inadequacy suffers from a deficiency of critical thinking

2 : an amount that is lacking or inadequate : shortage staffing deficiencies : such as

a : a shortage of substances necessary to health a vitamin C deficiency hormone deficiencies

b genetics : deletion sense 2b(1)

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Examples of deficiency in a Sentence

The disease may be caused by nutritional deficiencies. The book's major deficiency is its poor plot. a deficiency of vitamin C There are several deficiencies in his plan. The accident was caused by deficiencies in the engine.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The resolution was inspired by decades of research demonstrating the deficiencies of baby formula — including a 2016 study that found universal breastfeeding would prevent 800,000 child deaths per year. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "It’s Normal for the U.S. to Put Corporate Profits Above Babies’ Health," 10 July 2018 Patients who have had gastric bypass surgery also are vulnerable to this vitamin deficiency and usually need supplements (GE Portuguese Journal of Gastroenterology, April 2018). Houston Chronicle, "Old wives’ remedy helped arthritis pain," 1 July 2018 The dead skin cells there should shed in a process called desquamation, but it is slowed by a number of factors: hormone fluctuations, sun exposure, vitamin deficiencies and aging. Crystal Martin, New York Times, "Exfoliation Tips for the Best Skin Ever," 25 June 2018 The umbilical cord blood has a high concentration of stem cells, which can be used for the treatment of leukemia, lymphomas, bone marrow failure syndromes, immune deficiencies and sickle cell disease. Naseem S. Miller, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Orlando-based cord blood bank CORD:USE acquired for $14 million," 5 June 2018 The measure was supposed to help lawmakers understand deficiencies and what state agencies have done or will do to fix the issues noted in the reports, Klarides said. Sandra Gomez-aceves, courant.com, "House Republicans Call For Hearings On Auditors' Reports," 30 May 2018 Paso Robles had a retrofit ordinance on the books at the time of the quake, and the Acorn’s owners had a structural engineer’s report identifying the seismic deficiencies and how to fix them. John Wilkens, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Decades-long march continues to rid San Diego of quake-vulnerable buildings," 13 May 2018 There will be plenty of opportunities for the Administration to correct these deficiencies. James Stavridis, Time, "The Danger of Trump’s National Security Plan Is In What It Doesn’t Say," 11 Jan. 2018 The airplane suffered wing structure deficiencies and other problems in development, running over budget and behind schedule. Eric Tegler, Popular Mechanics, "Boeing's Final C-17 Has Left the Factory," 2 Dec. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deficiency.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of deficiency

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for deficiency

defici(ent) entry 1 + -ency

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Statistics for deficiency

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deficiency

The first known use of deficiency was in 1603

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More Definitions for deficiency

deficiency

noun

English Language Learners Definition of deficiency

: a lack of something that is needed : the state of not having enough of something necessary

: a problem in the way something is made or formed

deficiency

noun
de·​fi·​cien·​cy | \di-ˈfi-shən-sē \
plural deficiencies

Kids Definition of deficiency

: the condition of being without something necessary and especially something required for health a vitamin deficiency

deficiency

noun
de·​fi·​cien·​cy | \di-ˈfish-ən-sē \
plural deficiencies

Medical Definition of deficiency 

1 : a shortage of substances (as vitamins) necessary to health

2 : deletion

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deficiency

noun
de·​fi·​cien·​cy | \di-ˈfi-shən-sē \
plural deficiencies

Legal Definition of deficiency 

: an amount that is lacking or inadequate: as

a : the difference between the amount of tax owed and the amount of tax paid

b : the difference between the amount owed under a security agreement and the amount the creditor is able to recover upon default of the debtor by selling the collateral

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