deficit

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

The state’s backlog of unpaid bills ballooned last year to more than $16bn and the deficit depleted budget reserves. The Economist, "Bruce Rauner discovers bipartisanship," 5 July 2018 Despite the huge deficit, Washington was far from out of it. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Marlins melt down as Nats rally from down 9-0, win 14-12 behind Trea Turner's 8 RBI," 5 July 2018 Stops followed, and the halftime deficit dropped to six by the start of the fourth quarter. Jordan Guskey, Indianapolis Star, "Inconsistent play again spells doom for Indiana Fever," 1 July 2018 Gurriel laced the third to right field, scoring Altuve and Bregman to pare the deficit to four. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Athletics hammer Lance McCullers in Astros' loss," 12 July 2018 This is why, for voters, feelings about faith or the flag often overwhelm more deliberate thoughts about policies towards the deficit or single-payer health care. The Economist, "The L wordWho is a Democrat?," 12 July 2018 Jorge López replaced Zagurski and allowed a third run, leaving the deficit an insurmountable 5-1. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Braves 5, Brewers 1: Offense has no answer for Anibal Sánchez," 7 July 2018 An own goal and a thunderous finish from Kevin de Bruyne gave the Belgians a deserved victory over the disappointing Brazilians, despite a nervous finish after Renato Augusto had halved the deficit. James Taylor, Pro Soccer USA, "Brazil 1-2 Belgium: Red Devils Shatter Brazil’s Dreams With Clinical Display to Set Up France Clash," 6 July 2018 The Falcons’ varsity four used an impressive surge over the final 1,000 meters to overcome a small deficit and defeat Seattle University by open water. Seattle Times Staff, The Seattle Times, "Everett Silvertips advance, but season comes to an end for T-birds," 30 Mar. 2019

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

13 May 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

Comments on deficit

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