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

But the younger Saarinen, considered by schoolmates at Cranbrook to lack the natural confidence of his father, would allay some of that self-concern with a relentless drive. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Why Eero Saarinen’s ‘50s office was a breeding ground for modernist design," 8 Nov. 2018 Another 15 percent lacked interest or felt their vote wouldn't matter. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "Voters Don't Come Out for Midterm Elections. But That Could Change This Year.," 30 Oct. 2018 And as in Venezuela, restoring peace and democracy is a task for which outsiders seem to lack both the will and the tools. The Economist, "Daniel Ortega is causing a bloodbath in Nicaragua," 12 July 2018 That’s what the NBA has been lacking this offseason. Rohan Nadkarni, SI.com, "NBA Free Agency Needs to Return to Normal in 2019," 10 July 2018 By Monday morning, more than 7,000 customers still lacked electricity. Javier Panzar, latimes.com, "Hundreds of customers are still without power as hot and angry Angelenos fume at the DWP," 10 July 2018 At the plate: Without Nicholas Castellanos, out with wrist soreness, the Tigers lacked their biggest threat. George Stoia, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers shut out by Texas Rangers, 3-0; Michael Fulmer now 3-8," 8 July 2018 On the other hand, a certain gravity seems lacking. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "An immigrant story, atrocity tourism, the future of Barbie," 28 June 2018 The Pacers lacked the shooting to open the floor for Victor Oladipo in the playoffs and their run ended in the first round against the Cleveland Cavaliers. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Thaddeus Young exercises option and will stay with Pacers," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

His legal team has cited frigid cell temperature, lack of clean blankets, isolation from other inmates—and the fact that his only reading materials are trial evidence. Zolan Kanno-youngs, WSJ, "Trial of ‘El Chapo’ Poses Unprecedented Challenges," 12 Nov. 2018 The formula has a few cons — like the lack of Food and Drug Administration regulation and the fact that Russian demographics mean there are no pigments for dark skin. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "What Is Semi-Permanent BB Cream, and Why Are People Getting It Microneedled Into Their Faces?," 9 Nov. 2018 The billionaire appears to have capitalized not only on Rauner’s lack of popularity but broader dissatisfaction with President Donald Trump. David A. Lieb, The Seattle Times, "Democrats gain governors’ seats, but GOP holds some states," 7 Nov. 2018 Step 1: Learn about the current gun laws, or lack thereof, in your state. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Gun Control Measures in the Midterms: How You Can Make a Difference With Your Vote," 30 Oct. 2018 The 65,000 ships are the largest warships ever built in the U.K. One odd feature (or lack thereof) on the two carriers is the absence of aircraft catapults and arresting gear. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "U.K. F-35s Will Use Strange Rolling Carrier Landings," 16 Oct. 2018 Frankly, Zao Onsen town is dumpy, with outdated lifts, ramshackle base-station infrastructure, and a lack of luxury hotels. Adam H. Graham, Condé Nast Traveler, "Slow Skiing in Japan's Deep North," 11 Oct. 2018 That's because a lack of estrogen has been linked to dementia, heart disease and osteoporosis, and patients who enter menopause prematurely spend less time with normal levels of estrogen. Colleen Stinchcombe, Woman's Day, "How Long Does Menopause Last?," 6 Sep. 2018 Amnesty International, a human-rights group, says many women and girls have been raped in the camps and that hundreds if not thousands of people confined in them have died of starvation or a lack of medical care. The Economist, "The fight against Islamic State is moving to Africa," 14 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.

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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

15 Nov 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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Comments on lack

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