deficit

noun
def·​i·​cit | \ ˈde-fə-sət How to pronounce deficit (audio) , British also di-ˈfis-ət or ˈdē-fə-sət\

Definition of deficit

1a(1) : deficiency in amount or quality a deficit in rainfall
(2) : a lack or impairment in an ability or functional capacity cognitive deficits a hearing deficit
b : disadvantage scored two runs to overcome a 2–1 deficit
2a : an excess of expenditure over revenue facing a deficit of $3 billion raise taxes to help reduce the budget deficit
b : a loss (see loss sense 4b) in business operations the year's operating deficit

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Examples of deficit in a Sentence

The government is facing a deficit of $3 billion. We will reduce the federal budget deficit. The team overcame a four-point deficit to win the game. She has a slight hearing deficit in her left ear.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Adama Diomande scored a hat trick, and while Fafa Picault cut the deficit to 2-1 at halftime, the home team was rarely truly threatened in the game at Banc of California Stadium. Jonathan Tannenwald, Philly.com, "Adama Diomande hat trick sinks Union in 4-1 loss at LAFC," 30 June 2018 However, eight minutes after Lewandowski's opener, Chile's Diego Valdes Contreras pulled one back for the South Americans, reducing the deficit to 2-1. SI.com, "International Roundup: Uruguay Win Comfortably While Germany Survive Late Scare to Beat Saudi Arabia," 8 June 2018 Mr Sánchez has made a virtue of his limited support by pledging to stick to Mr Rajoy’s budget (and its target of cutting the fiscal deficit to 2.3% of GDP). The Economist, "Spain’s new prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, assembles a reassuring team," 7 June 2018 The state is still running a $3.2 billion deficit this year. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Nickel-and-Diming Democrats," 21 Feb. 2019 And since cities and states can’t print money or run steep deficits, these deals take scarce resources from everything local governments would otherwise pay for, such as schools, roads, police, and prisons. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Amazon’s HQ2 stunt could come back to haunt it," 14 Nov. 2018 According to a New York Times analysis of that report, OMB’s mid-session review acknowledged that the national deficit is growing faster than previously expected — potentially ballooning by $1 trillion over the next decade. Sarah Mearhoff, Teen Vogue, "Donald Trump's Tax Cuts Are Reducing Corporate Taxes and Increasing the Deficit," 26 July 2018 But he’s never been invested enough in the substance of trade policy to, say, Google whether America runs a trade deficit with Canada before discussing that subject with its prime minister — let alone to read books about it. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Raises Taxes on Chinese Goods, Eyes Foreign Cars Next," 15 June 2018 Fortunately, faster economic growth in fiscal year 2018 helped make the federal deficit slightly smaller than CBO expected, but spending restraint remains the principal policy failure of the Trump era. James Freeman, WSJ, "The Gift of Work," 19 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deficit.' 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 deficit

1782, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for deficit

borrowed from French déficit, going back to Middle French, "item lacking in an inventory," borrowed from Latin dēficit "it is lacking," 3rd person singular present indicative of dēficere "to be lacking, run short, fail" — more at deficient

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Statistics for deficit

Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deficit

The first known use of deficit was in 1782

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More Definitions for deficit

deficit

noun

Financial Definition of deficit

What It Is

A deficit occurs when expenses exceed revenues, imports exceed exports, or liabilities exceed assets. A deficit is the opposite of a surplus.

How It Works

Fiscal deficits occur when an entity's (usually a government) expenditures exceed its revenue. A government usually borrows money to fill the gap or "fund the deficit." Most governments finance their debt by selling government bonds.

Trade deficits (also called current account deficits) occur when a country imports more than it exports. The difference between exports and imports is called net exports.

Why It Matters

Deficits are controversial. The famous economist John Maynard Keynes argued that fiscal deficits stimulated economies by allowing governments to purchase goods and services and were thus particularly useful for getting countries out of recessions. However, many scholars argue that governments should not incur fiscal deficits regularly because the cost to service the debt takes away from government spending that could be better used elsewhere.

Meanwhile, supporters of trade deficits say they are the direct result of global competition. Thus, the deficits exists because consumers are making a choice to buy foreign goods whether it be because of a difference in quality, price, or any other reason. Opponents of large trade deficits believe the deficit provides jobs to foreign countries instead of creating them at home, thus hurting the domestic economy.

Source: Investing Answers

deficit

noun

English Language Learners Definition of deficit

: an amount (such as an amount of money) that is less than the amount that is needed
: the amount by which a person or team is behind in a game or contest
chiefly US : a problem that causes a decrease in some ability

deficit

noun
def·​i·​cit | \ ˈde-fə-sət How to pronounce deficit (audio) \

Kids Definition of deficit

: a shortage especially in money

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deficit

noun
de·​fi·​cit | \ ˈdef-(ə-)sət; British also di-ˈfis-ət, ˈdē-fə-sət\

Medical Definition of deficit

: a deficiency of a substance a potassium deficit also : a lack or impairment of a functional capacity cognitive deficits

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More from Merriam-Webster on deficit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deficit

Spanish Central: Translation of deficit

Nglish: Translation of deficit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of deficit for Arabic Speakers

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of or relating to a parable or parabola

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