short·​age | \ ˈshȯr-tij How to pronounce shortage (audio) \

Definition of shortage

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Examples of shortage in a Sentence

there was a troubling shortage of supplies for the troops overseas this year
Recent Examples on the Web In recognition of a looming nursing shortage with the aging of the workforce, nursing advocates seek to reduce barriers for highly qualified nurses to practice in the United States. Leah Binder, Forbes, 3 June 2021 The attack raised concerns of a potential meat shortage in the U.S. and several other countries affected by the situation. Jack Durschlag, Fox News, 2 June 2021 With many people still out of work, the group's economists don't expect a cycle of wage hikes and price increases to materialize — despite evidence of a shortage of workers in some industries. Charles Riley, CNN, 2 June 2021 At the same time, the federal government warns of a critical shortage of therapists and psychiatrists. New York Times, 1 June 2021 Alabama, like other states, is in the middle of a teacher shortage, particularly in certain geographic areas and in middle and high school math and science. Trisha Powell Crain |, al, 1 June 2021 Beach towns and vacation spots across the country are struggling to hire enough workers, part of a nationwide labor shortage hitting fast-food joints, restaurants and manufacturing plants. Todd C. Frankel, Washington Post, 28 May 2021 For Ocean City, the timing of the nationwide labor shortage couldn’t be worse. Lorraine Mirabella,, 27 May 2021 Miller said the evidence of the shortage is the incentives Metro is offering to bring in new workers. Briah Lumpkins, The Enquirer, 26 May 2021

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.

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First Known Use of shortage

1868, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for shortage

Time Traveler

The first known use of shortage was in 1868

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Statistics for shortage

Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shortage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for shortage



English Language Learners Definition of shortage

: a state in which there is not enough of something that is needed


short·​age | \ ˈshȯr-tij How to pronounce shortage (audio) \

Kids Definition of shortage

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


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