deficient

1 of 2

adjective

de·​fi·​cient di-ˈfi-shənt How to pronounce deficient (audio)
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
deficiently adverb

deficient

2 of 2

noun

: a person or thing that is deficient
a mental deficient

Example Sentences

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
But the person in charge of birddogging compliance and reporting back to the court suggested the office was still deficient in key areas. Chicago Tribune, 21 Nov. 2022 To admit a student who is academically deficient in comparison to his classmates will greatly increase the probability of that student’s failure. WSJ, 7 Nov. 2022 As of 2021, 818 of Ohio’s 11,371 local bridges were labeled as structurally deficient, according to a report from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association. Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland, 15 Apr. 2022 The bill requires school districts to offer summer learning in math – 60 to 70 hours total – for fourth and fifth grade students identified as deficient in math. Trisha Powell Crain | Tcrain@al.com, al, 29 Mar. 2022 Members Heather Floyd and Sonia Gasho alleged in the lawsuit that 2,094 of the signatures were deficient. Jake Frederico, The Arizona Republic, 19 Oct. 2022 Cases can be sealed to protect the tenant from future credit problems if, for instance, the rent is paid or if the paperwork is found to be deficient. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 17 Oct. 2022 Waiving the Jones act could similarly help move refined products like gasoline around this country from areas that are better supplied to ones that are deficient. Dan Eberhart, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2022 Claude offers consistency and reliability in the backcourt, another area that's been deficient. The Enquirer, 22 Sep. 2022
Noun
In cases where Finra finds a firm’s anti-money-laundering program deficient, the agency recommends fines of $10,000 to $100,000 for small firms, and $20,000 to $310,000 for midsize and large firms. David Smagalla, WSJ, 29 Sep. 2022 According to a 2010 article from the International Journal of Health Sciences, over 1 billion people worldwide are vitamin D deficient. Valerie Pavilonis, USA TODAY, 9 Feb. 2022 The best way to hide the deficient, though, is through a dominating offense which brings us back to Jackson and Roman. Mike Preston, baltimoresun.com, 5 June 2021 Some research is also starting to show that many severe COVID-19 patients are vitamin D deficient. Fedor Kossakovski, Science, 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, 22 Aug. 2017 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Adjective

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1906, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of deficient was in 1581

Dictionary Entries Near deficient

Cite this Entry

“Deficient.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/deficient. Accessed 6 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

deficient

adjective

de·​fi·​cient
di-ˈfish-ənt
: lacking something necessary for completeness : not up to a given or normal standard
a diet deficient in proteins
deficient in their knowledge of history
deficiently adverb

Medical Definition

deficient 1 of 2

adjective

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

2 of 2

noun

: one that is deficient
a mental deficient

More from Merriam-Webster on deficient

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