\ ˈlak How to pronounce lack (audio) \
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.



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

Synonyms & Antonyms for lack

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This leads to board members who either aren't engaged or lack the information to actively contribute. James Langabeer, Forbes, 15 Aug. 2022 Some of the results can lack character, Benimana admitted—the city center is a giant roundabout, and its new hotels, malls, and industrial zones are a series of generic boxes—but other aspects are impressive. Nicola Twilley, The New Yorker, 15 Aug. 2022 Scientists suspect similar, less extreme shifts in gender ratios along Space Coast beaches but lack data to prove . Jim Waymer, Orlando Sentinel, 13 Aug. 2022 After all, a Sour Patch Kid wouldn’t hit the same if the sour didn’t eventually get you to the sweet, just as The Little Mermaid’s love story would lack the satisfying conflict-to-happy-ending arc facilitated by a vengeful sea witch. Nitya Rao, Seventeen, 11 Aug. 2022 But human rights advocates say the country’s regulations lack necessary safeguards, devalue the lives of disabled people and are prompting doctors and health workers to suggest the procedure to those who might not otherwise consider it. Maria Cheng, Anchorage Daily News, 11 Aug. 2022 These events are open to anyone but target people who haven’t participated in outdoor recreation and lack the resources to do so. Deborah Sullivan Brennan, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Aug. 2022 At the end of the day many people lack compassion & critical thinking skills and it’s not my responsibility to teach that. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 10 Aug. 2022 Neighborhoods with less tree cover tend to be hotter, may have lower air quality and can lack community gathering spaces for their residents. Abby Miller, The Enquirer, 9 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun His rookie season was a disaster for his lack of usage and efficiency on the offensive side of the ball. Tom Rende, Forbes, 15 Aug. 2022 Indeed, for the bulk of his tenure, his seeming lack of passion for pursuing Trump with a Tommy Lee Jones-like zeal has left liberals vexed. Jason Linkins, The New Republic, 12 Aug. 2022 But our biggest objection to robo-advisers– especially for folks who are nearing retirement – is their lack of personalization. Amy Wagner And Steve Sprovach, The Enquirer, 12 Aug. 2022 Then on Thursday, the editorial boards of both Murdoch outlets published opinion pieces that took aim at Merrick Garland for his lack of transparency about the search. David Zurawik, CNN, 12 Aug. 2022 What saved us was our lack of knowledge about industry standards. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, 12 Aug. 2022 Most city officials declined to comment citing the pending litigation, but Mayor Lloyd Snook said Brackney’s termination was about her lack of effective leadership, not reform efforts. Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, 11 Aug. 2022 Berkowitz even taunted detectives for their lack of progress in the investigation. Chris Harris, Peoplemag, 10 Aug. 2022 Forestry officials admit their lack of options in responding to such a crisis. Xander Peters, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of lack


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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lack

Noun and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for lack

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near lack




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Statistics for lack

Last Updated

17 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lack.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for lack


\ ˈlak How to pronounce lack (audio) \
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.



Kids Definition of lack (Entry 2 of 2)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on lack

Nglish: Translation of lack for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lack for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about lack


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