short·age | \ˈshȯr-tij \

Definition of shortage 

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of shortage in a Sentence

there was a troubling shortage of supplies for the troops overseas this year

Recent Examples on the Web

The Health Administration designates areas with a shortage of health professionals primarily using ratios between health professionals and population numbers. Hannah Holzer, sacbee, "California needs more mental health professionals – and the shortage will get worse, experts say," 11 July 2018 Today, with no shortage of uranium, the more complex fast reactors can't compete economically with thermal reactors—although some nuclear experts say breeders will one day be needed. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Congress pushes for multibillion-dollar nuclear reactor that critics call a boondoggle," 3 July 2018 But the subdued reporting in the hard-line media about the water shortage couldn’t have been more different from the triumphalist, anti-Rouhani tone that accompanied the previous protests in the Tehran bazaar. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Iran protests: why Rouhani's foes are backing off their hard line," 2 July 2018 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning about a shortage of the newest shingles vaccine. CBS News, "CDC warns of shingles vaccine shortage," 29 June 2018 The church also is grappling with a shortage of priests and the challenge of helping immigrant Ukrainians adapt to their new country. Kristin E. Holmes,, "The archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Philadelphia retires and goes home," 10 June 2018 The morning of the raid, the Ohio Landscape Association wrote on Facebook about a labor shortage affecting the green industry in Ohio and beyond. Samantha Schmidt,, "‘Utter chaos’: ICE arrests 114 workers in immigration raid at Ohio gardening company," 6 June 2018 Others spoke about the shortage of counselors to identify potential warning signs of violence in students. Ray Sanchez, CNN, "Texas governor's school safety plan: Armed marshals, increased law enforcement presence," 30 May 2018 Courier Journal CHICAGO – A year ago Kentucky guard Hamidou Diallo came to the NBA combine as a prospect projected as a borderline first-round pick with no shortage of questions. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Hamidou Diallo confident in turning pro despite struggles at Kentucky," 18 May 2018

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

1868, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about shortage

Phrases Related to shortage

no shortage of

Statistics for shortage

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shortage

The first known use of shortage was in 1868

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for shortage



English Language Learners Definition of shortage

: a state in which there is not enough of something that is needed ( chiefly Brit )


short·age | \ˈshȯr-tij \

Kids Definition of shortage

: a condition in which there is not enough of something needed : deficit a water shortage

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on shortage

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


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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