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

Older adults and people with other gastrointestinal problems can also be susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiencies. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "These new vape companies want you to inhale ... vitamins," 24 Oct. 2018 For years, their collective power masked the swing-and-miss and on-base deficiencies of the group. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "How did this happen? Orioles players examine why this season spun out of control," 24 June 2018 Altose believes media attention to VA deficiencies has overshadowed a preponderance of accomplishments. Brian Albrecht, cleveland.com, "Retiring Cleveland VA chief says privatizing 'would result in a huge disservice to veterans' (photos, video)," 22 Apr. 2018 Vitamin-rich foods can cure diseases related to vitamin deficiency. Liz Szabo, CNN, "Enthusiasm over vitamins often outpaces evidence, experts say," 13 Apr. 2018 Vitamin-rich foods can cure diseases related to vitamin deficiency. Liz Szabo, chicagotribune.com, "Older Americans are hooked on vitamins despite scarce evidence they work," 6 Apr. 2018 Vitamin-rich foods can cure diseases related to vitamin deficiency. Liz Szabo, USA TODAY, "Are you over 65 and take vitamins? They don't usually help — and sometimes they harm," 4 Apr. 2018 All sorts of health issues are associated with a poorly functioning digestive system, from skin problems, to nutrient deficiencies, to impaired production of neurotransmitters and other feel good hormones, to a weakened immune system. Steven Macari, Harper's BAZAAR, "Drink Responsibly: A Healthy Guide to Imbibing," 21 Feb. 2014 In 2016, the Fed and the FDIC shocked the firms by determining five of eight had deficiencies. Andrew Ackerman, WSJ, "U.S. Bank Regulators Warn of ‘Living Will’ Shortcomings at Four Foreign-Owned Banks," 20 Dec. 2018

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

17 Jan 2019

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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