lack

verb
\ˈlak \
lacked; lacking; lacks

Definition of lack 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to be deficient or missing time is lacking for a full explanation

2 : to be short or have need of something he will not lack for advisers The area does not lack for good restaurants.

transitive verb

: to stand in need of : suffer from the absence or deficiency of lack the necessities of life She lacked confidence.

lack

noun

Definition of lack (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the fact or state of being wanting or deficient a lack of evidence

2 : something that is lacking or is needed

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Synonyms & Antonyms for lack

Synonyms: Noun

absence, dearth, want

Antonyms: Noun

presence

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Examples of lack in a Sentence

Verb

His book lacks any coherent structure. They lack a good strategy for winning the election. This painting lacks any artistic value. She has never been accused of lacking confidence. Many of these people lack the basic necessities of life.

Noun

The problem is a lack of money. She has been suffering from a lack of sleep lately. Her problem is lack of sleep.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Hard evidence of the very first penguins is lacking. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "20 Things You Didn't Know About ... Penguins," 6 Nov. 2018 Cole County Judge Jon Beetem ruled that the plaintiffs — the Missouri Democratic Party and a World War II veteran from Hartville — lacked the authority to remove Kehoe, who has already been sworn in as lieutenant governor, from office. Bryan Lowry, kansascity, "Judge throws out lawsuit seeking to block Parson from appointing lieutenant governor," 11 July 2018 That's when the Federal Emergency Management Agency, employing stricter standards following Hurricane Katrina, declared that the levees surrounding Natomas lacked the minimal 100-year protection. Dale Kasler, sacbee, "Trump administration sends Sacramento $1.8 billion for flood protection," 5 July 2018 The agency found that 14 of the 20 veterans who died by suicide every day either lacked access to or chose to forgo VA services. Martin Kuz, The Christian Science Monitor, "A plan to help veterans from 'the first minute' they leave the service," 27 June 2018 And when the vicious cycle finally ends, chances are that the union will lack the resources to effectively perform the responsibilities of an exclusive representative—or, in the worst case, to perform them at all. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Supreme Court’s Conservatives Take Their Long-Awaited Shot at Unions," 27 June 2018 In 2005, he was widely cited as a key factor in convincing Bush to rescind the Supreme Court nomination of the president's friend and legal adviser Harriet Miers, whom Krauthammer and others said lacked the necessary credentials. CBS News, "Charles Krauthammer, longtime conservative columnist and Fox News personality, dead at 68," 22 June 2018 Knox, one of the youngest players in the draft as an 18-year-old, still has room to grow as an all-around wing, but could have provided perimeter scoring immediately that the team lacks with Kidd-Gilchrist. Brendan Marks, charlotteobserver, "Steph Curry baby stories, Kentucky-to-NBA path? Hornets' first draft pick tells all," 22 June 2018 Because the first Pixel lacks optical image stabilization, Google can’t do the same length of exposures as on the other two. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Google gives the Pixel camera superhuman night vision," 14 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Hyland’s body has put her through the wringer, forcing her to confront her own lack of control and adjust her goals, expectations, relationships, and self-image to make space for her medical needs. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "Sarah Hyland Opens Up About Dialysis and Her Second Kidney Transplant," 10 Dec. 2018 His lack of response to the subpoena prompted concern among Democrats at a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee this past week. Mark Maremont, WSJ, "Matthew Whitaker Knew of Fraud Allegations at Company He Advised," 30 Nov. 2018 Bruce made sure both sides shared his troops’ lack of mobility. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "'Outlaw King' vs. 'Braveheart': Which Movie Gets Scotland Right?," 13 Nov. 2018 Getting online is financially advantageous for folks in low-income regions, especially Africa and Asia, where lack of connectivity is highest. Troy Farah, Discover Magazine, "The Web, Worldwide," 19 Oct. 2018 Power and volume rockers sit on top. Don’t worry too much about the lack of USB-C ports. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Hands on with Microsoft's Surface Pro 6: The new tablet is easy to use, confusing to buy," 3 Oct. 2018 At one point, Charlotte mentions that her campaign workers almost seem to take pride their absolute lack of self care—which cracked me up because its true! Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "#ReadWithMC Reviews 'Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win'," 1 Oct. 2018 Valuing all bodies means looking beyond our attraction (or lack thereof) and respecting them, and their owners, either way. Nora Whelan, SELF, "Believing Women Means Believing the Plus-Size Ones, Too," 21 Nov. 2018 My friend pointed out the eerie and afterwards-unignorable lack of birdsong, which is attributable to overhunting. Hanya Yanagihara, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Luang Prabang Is the Ideal Southeast Asian City," 20 Nov. 2018

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

Verb

12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lack

Verb

see lack entry 2

Noun

Middle English lak; akin to Middle Dutch lak lack, Old Norse lakr defective

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Statistics for lack

Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lack

The first known use of lack was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for lack

lack

verb

English Language Learners Definition of lack

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to not have (something) : to not have enough of (something) ( chiefly US )

lack

noun

English Language Learners Definition of lack (Entry 2 of 2)

: the state or condition of not having any or enough of something : the state or condition of lacking something

lack

verb
\ˈlak \
lacked; lacking

Kids Definition of lack

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to be missing Something is lacking in the soup.

2 : to need or be without something I lack the necessary money.

lack

noun

Kids Definition of lack (Entry 2 of 2)

: the fact or state of not having any or enough of something a lack of time

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More from Merriam-Webster on lack

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lack

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lack

Spanish Central: Translation of lack

Nglish: Translation of lack for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lack for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lack

Comments on lack

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