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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for lack

Synonyms: Noun

absence, dearth, want

Antonyms: Noun

presence

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Spotless execution could forgive some of these appropriations, but that was lacking across my multiple visits timed about a month apart. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Restaurant Review: Detroit's Empire Kitchen & Cocktails has no clothes," 12 July 2018 Yet, even with the socialists’ doctrinal commitment, the party’s actual record of fighting for women’s equality and inclusion was lacking. Olivia Campbell, Smithsonian, "The Historical Struggle to Rid Socialism of Sexism," 12 July 2018 While the overall depth is lacking, the Marauders return several starters on offense and defense. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Former Ben Davis coach Mike Kirschner rejuvenated in new stop at Mt. Vernon," 3 July 2018 Research is difficult and expensive in the far north, and data are still lacking on the population of some important species and their distribution. Adam Aton, Scientific American, "Ships Threaten Arctic Marine Mammals," 3 July 2018 However, does this mean Cortese's presence could be lacking in the upcoming second season of the series? Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "The Jersey Shore Gang Is About To Meet A New Tiny Meatball," 2 July 2018 However, job opportunities and entrepreneurial expansion seems to be lacking. kansascity, "Jean Paul Bradshaw," 30 June 2018 This is usually due to one of two factors: The amount of your tears is lacking or the quality of your tears is off-kilter. Korin Miller, SELF, "7 Things That Can Cause Irritated, Scratchy Eyes," 29 June 2018 Below, Banner catches up with Billboard on what's currently lacking in hip-hop, his frustration with the use of the N-word and why he's fed up with streaming services. Billboard, "David Banner Gets Candid About Hip-Hop's Instability and the Controversy Surrounding the 'N-Word'," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Maybe my problem was a simple lack of understanding. Dugan Arnett, BostonGlobe.com, "What happened when a soccer skeptic sat through a World Cup match," 11 July 2018 The expansion of the pipeline comes as crude oil pipelines leaving West Texas have filled up due to a lack of construction and continued production increases in the Permian. Rye Druzin, Houston Chronicle, "West Texas company to build large Permian pipeline system," 11 July 2018 The mood among investors has soured on Europe and there is a lack of confidence in the region as the economic and political promise of last year has faded, says Adam Laird, head of ETF strategy in Northern Europe for Lyxor Asset Management. Tanzeel Akhtar, WSJ, "European-Stock ETFs Absorb Outflows Triggered by Italy," 8 July 2018 Jane and Kat encourage Sutton to pursue her dream of working in the fashion department despite her lack of experience. Bethonie Butler, chicagotribune.com, "Why it matters that the women on 'Younger' and 'The Bold Type' focus on careers as much as dating," 14 July 2018 Analyst Stacey Rasgon at Bernstein Research also found the move surprising and criticized the company for its lack of availability. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Why Broadcom's Stock Is Crashing," 12 July 2018 Young leads a life notorious among the 49ers for its lack of ostentation. Johnny Miller, SFChronicle.com, "5 years, $26 million for QB Young," 12 July 2018 Warren County officials have long boasted about being frugal with taxpayer money, and the county made national news earlier this decade for its lack of debt. Keith Bierygolick, Cincinnati.com, "Addicted, abused and unable to count: a federal lawsuit about damaged kids in Warren County," 12 July 2018 Eileen, the novel’s protagonist, was not attractive, and Moshfegh felt annoyed to discover that readers focused on that fact, as if the demeaning and ugly things the character did came from her lack of physical beauty. Clare Mchugh, Time, "Why Ottessa Moshfegh Is One of the Best Novelists of the Summer," 12 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lack

Statistics for lack

Last Updated

20 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lack

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on lack

What made you want to look up lack? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

by word of mouth

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!