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 Medical experts say the guidelines also are deficient in another key category: tracking infections. Patrick Cooley, The Enquirer, "Coronavirus in Ohio: Medical experts weren’t in charge in setting reopening guidelines," 30 June 2020 As a rookie, Williams was deficient in the strength department, which forced him into technical inefficiencies in an attempt to compensate. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: 3 Cowboys in danger of losing their starting jobs, including an inconsistent nose tackle," 1 June 2020 Fauci and company have relied on models that were later found to be deficient. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "Rand Paul and Andy Biggs accuse Fauci and Birx of trying to 'corral our freedom' with coronavirus guidance," 21 May 2020 At a high school for students who were credit deficient, Perry would bring in tattoo removal artists for a student who wanted to go into the military and find childcare for students who were mothers and had to work at night, Hassell said. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "This is what students really lose when they lose their educators to coronavirus," 18 May 2020 Where the West is deficient is in the current lack of imagination of its most hallowed institutions. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "America Still a Global Leader Even in a Time of Crisis," 2 Apr. 2020 An area in which the team was deficient in 2019 — tackling on special teams — is something that is expected to improve, perhaps dramatically, with a little help from Fassel. Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas News, "Questionable addition of Greg Zuerlein fills Cowboys’ need at kicker they didn’t actually have," 30 Mar. 2020 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 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

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deficient.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deficient. Accessed 9 Jul. 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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