deficient

adjective
de·​fi·​cient | \ di-ˈfi-shənt How to pronounce deficient (audio) \

Definition of deficient

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : lacking in some necessary quality or element deficient in judgment bones deficient in calcium
2 : not up to a normal standard or complement (see complement entry 1 sense 1b(1)) : defective deficient strength … rusted and aging pipes … abetted by deficient maintenance and sabotage.— Adam Nossiter

deficient

noun

Definition of deficient (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person or thing that is deficient a mental deficient

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Other Words from deficient

Adjective

deficiently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for deficient

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of deficient in a Sentence

Adjective Several bridges in the city are structurally deficient. a diet deficient in calcium can lead to weak bones
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective With 22 percent of its bridges deemed structurally deficient, Rhode Island has the highest percentage in the country. NBC News, "More than one-third of U.S. bridges are in disrepair, infrastructure group says," 14 Apr. 2020 Trump may be acquitted by the Senate, but if the process is fundamentally deficient, a mockery of a system designed to seek the truth, that acquittal will not exonerate him. Joyce White Vance, Time, "Trump May Be Acquitted in a Senate Impeachment Trial. That's Not the Same as Being Exonerated," 23 Dec. 2019 Moreover, markets are short-sighted and risk averse—and the market mechanisms for looking into the future and managing risks are very deficient. Joseph E. Stiglitz, Time, "Why Our Affluent Society is Facing Shortages in the Face of the Coronavirus Pandemic?," 27 Mar. 2020 But most children aren’t truly deficient in those in a way that would make a difference. New York Times, "Milk and Juice Are Not as Needed as You Might Think," 24 Feb. 2020 Some of the major concerns, according to the report, include: The project found that certain bolts, determined to be deficient on another Northrop Grumman program, were used during the construction of the observatory. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Report: Webb telescope has just a 12 percent chance of making launch date," 29 Jan. 2020 This model anticipated the finding that CO2-induced panic occurs in a patient with bilateral loss of the amygdala who otherwise is severely deficient in fear reactions. Dean Mobbs, Scientific American, "On the Nature of Fear," 20 Sep. 2019 Five justices held that the Census Act allows the question, but a separate five-justice majority found the rulemaking that added the question was procedurally deficient. David B. Rivkin Jr. And Gilson B. Gray, WSJ, "How to Put Citizenship Back in the Census," 4 July 2019 The effects were particularly robust in women who were initially deficient in vitamin D and in those who gave birth during the winter, when sunlight levels are lower and vitamin D blood levels tend to drop. Nicholas Bakalar, New York Times, "Vitamin D During Pregnancy May Benefit Children’s Bones," 25 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But rising home prices are bailing out large numbers of the equity deficient: their number is down by more than 1.2 million in the last 12 months. Kenneth R. Harney, miamiherald, "Which U.S. neighborhood has homeowners with the most equity? Answer may surprise you," 22 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deficient.' 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 deficient

Adjective

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1906, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for deficient

Adjective

borrowed from Latin dēficient-, dēficiens, present participle of dēficere "to leave without enough, let down, be lacking, run short, fail," from dē- de- + facere "to make, bring about, perform, do" — more at fact

Noun

derivative of deficient entry 1

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Time Traveler for deficient

Time Traveler

The first known use of deficient was in 1581

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Statistics for deficient

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deficient.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deficient. Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for deficient

deficient

adjective
How to pronounce deficient (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of deficient

: not having enough of something that is important or necessary
: not good enough : not as good as others

deficient

adjective
de·​fi·​cient | \ di-ˈfi-shənt How to pronounce deficient (audio) \

Kids Definition of deficient

: lacking something necessary for completeness or health Her diet is deficient in proteins.

deficient

adjective
de·​fi·​cient | \ di-ˈfish-ənt How to pronounce deficient (audio) \

Medical Definition of deficient

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : lacking in some necessary quality or element a deficient diet
2 : not up to a normal standard or complement deficient strength
3 : having, relating to, or characterized by a genetic deletion

deficient

noun

Medical Definition of deficient (Entry 2 of 2)

: one that is deficient a mental deficient

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Comments on deficient

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