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 Potential bridge issues As an example of the amount of testing that is needed, a 2018 analysis of federal transportation data estimated that nearly 54,300 of the nation's 612,700 bridges were structurally deficient, largely due to advanced age. Russ Wiles, azcentral, "Bridges, stadium roofs and airports: This Phoenix company makes sure steel and other materials won't fail," 28 Dec. 2019 Detroit's deficient defense has played a big part in the Lions' 3-10-1 record. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Kerryon Johnson ‘all for’ Detroit Lions drafting former Auburn teammate," 20 Dec. 2019 Treatment plans for patients are often generic and deficient, resulting in yearslong stays with little progress. Josh Kovner, courant.com, "Disability Rights group finds ‘pervasive’ problems remain after scandals at Whiting Forensic and Connecticut Valley Hospitals," 26 Nov. 2019 The message to parents of the neurodiverse kid is that their child is deficient, and that their job is to fix their child. Mark Armstrong, Longreads, "Normal Sucks: Author Jonathan Mooney on How Schools Fail Kids with Learning Differences," 18 Dec. 2019 But even reaching an agreement about which accounts are deficient has proven tough. BostonGlobe.com, "He told Beacon Hill leaders," 7 Dec. 2019 Investigators say Olivia had been using a feeding tube and was admitted in July 2017 to Children's Hospital Colorado, where doctors said her nutrition was deficient. CBS News, "A Colorado mother said her daughter had a terminal illness. She's now accused of her murder.," 22 Oct. 2019 Investigators say Olivia had been using a feeding tube and was admitted in July 2017 to Children's Hospital Colorado, where doctors said her nutrition was deficient. Colleen Slevin, USA TODAY, "She told 'Make-A-Wish' her daughter was dying. Now, the Colorado mom is charged with murder," 22 Oct. 2019 Their report concluded the management of the Bureau of Regulatory Services was deficient and recommended the department do a full review of how checks are received, deposited and reviewed. Dave Altimari, courant.com, "Audit of state Department of Agriculture discovers more than $250K in uncashed checks locked in safe," 9 Oct. 2019 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

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deficient.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deficient. Accessed 26 Feb. 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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