deficient

adjective
de·fi·cient | \ di-ˈfi-shənt \

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

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

Fish is the only good dietary sources of vitamin D. Fatty fish is an excellent source of vitamin D, and important nutrient that over 40% of people may be deficient in. Orthocincy, Cincinnati.com, "Benefits of eating fish," 19 June 2018 Viewing the world through these lenses led to the medicalization of any and all dissent: Anything less than full-throated chauvinism meant a person was deficient in Gemüt, which, in turn, was potentially damaging to the Volk. Seth Mnookin, New York Times, "Was Autism a Nazi Invention?," 18 June 2018 The Lowveld already has nutrient-poor soil, and deficient plants can make for poor sustenance for animals, which can push these deficiencies up the food chain from grass-grazing species like buffalo to apex predators like lions. Elaina Zachos, National Geographic, "Exclusive: Fatal Disease Likely Found in Lion Cubs for First Time," 11 Apr. 2018 Survivors arrived at the camps with a host of overlapping health issues— tuberculosis, starvation, infectious skin conditions — that were exacerbated by deficient care, said Jael Geis of the Jewish Museum in Berlin at the conference. Emanuella Grinberg, Smithsonian, "When a Bavarian Monastery Provided a Home to Jewish Refugees," 11 July 2018 Middles, by contrast, are characterized primarily as envious and are perceived as especially deficient in attributes related to confidence. Adam Sternbergh, The Cut, "The Extinction of the Middle Child," 11 July 2018 But in the 1950’s, the practice expanded to poor or illegitimate families who were seen as economically or morally deficient, Agence France-Presse reports. Casey Quackenbush, Time, "Spain to Begin the First Ever Franco-Era 'Stolen Babies' Trial," 26 June 2018 But Idaho Power is scheduled to be energy deficient by 2026. Heather Kennison, idahostatesman, "What's it like to rely on renewable energy? Look at life in Idaho.," 26 June 2018 Ronaldo has scored four times in his first two games of this competition and Portugal can advance to the round of 16 with a tie against offensively deficient Iran on Monday. Dylan Hernandez, latimes.com, "Argentina's lack of talent and philosophy are making it nearly impossible for Lionel Messi to succeed," 25 June 2018

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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Statistics for deficient

Last Updated

31 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deficient

The first known use of deficient was in 1581

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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 \

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 \

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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