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 The defensive line has been deficient in pressuring the quarterback and in need of an upgrade. oregonlive, "NFL mock draft 2021 (4.0): Oregon’s Penei Sewell prepares for a reunion and the 49ers make a surprise QB choice; trades and other first-round predictions," 23 Apr. 2021 But about 42% of Americans are deficient in the nutrient. Stefani Sassos, Ms, Rdn, Cso, Good Housekeeping, "8 Healthy Foods That Are High in Vitamin D," 13 Apr. 2021 In a recent court ruling, an Ogden judge said Lovell’s public defender, Sean Young, wasn’t deficient in his representation. Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Judge rules the LDS Church didn’t meddle in Utah death penalty case," 30 Mar. 2021 Teachers are deficient in knowledge pertinent to history, literature, fine arts, mathematics and the natural sciences. Gary Marvin Davison, Star Tribune, "Counterpoint: Public school students aren't learning the 'wrong' thing," 17 Feb. 2021 But environmental and tribal groups had been pressing for quicker action, arguing Dakota Access is operating illegally because federal courts found a Trump administration environmental review permitting the pipeline to be deficient. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: Democrats begin to write Biden’s green infrastructure plan into legislation," 12 Apr. 2021 The state also has a legal obligation to provide health care to inmates and could face lawsuits if that care is deficient. Mary Spicuzza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Just 7% of Wisconsin prisoners have received COVID-19 vaccine, despite outcry over inmates being prioritized," 9 Apr. 2021 Fewer Americans are eating cereal every year, despite some of them offering a substantial amount of fiber, a critical nutrient in which 95 percent of Americans are deficient. Angela Lashbrook, refinery29.com, "Whatever Happened To Eating A Bowl Of Cereal?," 24 Mar. 2021 But other members of the committee said Butler’s performance has been so deficient that extraordinary measures are needed. Jeff Amy, ajc, "Lawmakers angry over jobless benefits aim at labor chief," 24 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Some research is also starting to show that many severe COVID-19 patients are vitamin D deficient. Fedor Kossakovski, Science, "Why cold weather makes it harder for the body to fight respiratory infections," 15 Dec. 2020 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

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Deficient.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deficient. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for deficient

deficient

adjective

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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