deficiency

noun
de·​fi·​cien·​cy | \ di-ˈfi-shən-sē How to pronounce deficiency (audio) \
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

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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 findings are not surprising to Sandy Santana, executive director of Children’s Rights, a national advocacy organization that is suing Arizona over alleged deficiencies in its foster-care system. Mary Jo Pitzl, Arizona Republic, "Criminalizing 'children who have been traumatized': How foster care led to prison," 20 Nov. 2019 Eleanor, who turns 2 in January, was cured of a rare immune deficiency because of the transplant. courant.com, "Nov. 11, 2019: “The biggest blessing ever”," 11 Nov. 2019 The urgent concerns Section 3033 outlines include, for example, violations or abuses of laws or executive orders, or deficiencies in the funding, administration or operation of an intelligence activity. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "Breaking Down the Whistleblower Frenzy," 21 Sep. 2019 This week provides an opportunity for Ohio State to clean up any deficiencies in all three facets of the game. Stephen Means, cleveland.com, "What young guys for Ohio State football are you interested to see next week?," 16 Sep. 2019 The teen also had a B12 and vitamin D deficiency, low amounts of copper and selenium in his blood, high zinc and low bone density. Julie Mazziotta, PEOPLE.com, "Teen Boy Developed Blindness from Junk Food Diet, Study Says," 4 Sep. 2019 The brown spots are the final stage of iron deficiency just before the leaves fall and leave bare branches. Neil Sperry, ExpressNews.com, "Hollow, goop-filled tree needs an arborist’s advice," 30 Aug. 2019 The fourth-year Digital Media Collaborative student told The Enquirer that the program had major deficiencies that hurt his education. Max Londberg, Cincinnati.com, "Digital media student says UC contracts, director's dismissal hurt learning at new program," 26 Dec. 2019 That review identified an additional 1,818 deficiencies at 98 facilities. USA Today, "Deaths in custody. Sexual violence. Hunger strikes. What we uncovered inside ICE facilities across the US," 20 Dec. 2019

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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Learn More about deficiency

Time Traveler for deficiency

Time Traveler

The first known use of deficiency was in 1603

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Statistics for deficiency

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deficiency.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deficiency. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for deficiency

deficiency

noun
How to pronounce deficiency (audio)

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 How to pronounce deficiency (audio) \
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 How to pronounce deficiency (audio) \
plural deficiencies

Medical Definition of deficiency

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

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deficiency

noun
de·​fi·​cien·​cy | \ di-ˈfi-shən-sē How to pronounce deficiency (audio) \
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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Comments on deficiency

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