short·​com·​ing | \ ˈshȯrt-ˌkə-miŋ How to pronounce shortcoming (audio) , ˌshȯrt-ˈkə- \

Definition of shortcoming

: an imperfection or lack that detracts from the whole also : the quality or state of being flawed or lacking

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Synonyms & Antonyms for shortcoming



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Examples of shortcoming in a Sentence

Her lack of attention to detail is her biggest shortcoming. The main shortcoming of this camera is that it uses up batteries quickly.
Recent Examples on the Web But the country also showed a shortcoming with such programs. Washington Post, "Cash payments spread from Congress to Stockton to Brazil -- but notion of 'universal basic income’ far from reality," 22 Apr. 2021 Despite this shortcoming, the 2021 Academy Awards has recognized the widest array of Black films in its history. Jonathan W. Gray, The New Republic, "Bringing the Black Radical Tradition to the Oscars," 21 Apr. 2021 Sasha Mackler, director of the energy project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, sees the vagueness at this stage as an invitation to haggling, rather than a shortcoming. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Biden pitches $2.3T infrastructure plan as cure for Texas grid failure, but it’s not in the fine print," 13 Apr. 2021 Perhaps no shortcoming of Kentucky basketball’s 2020-21 roster played a bigger role in the team’s abysmal 9-16 record than the lack of a play-making point guard. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Can Nolan Hickman carry the load as Kentucky basketball's primary point guard?," 12 Apr. 2021 Though the general direction of travel is undoubtedly positive i.e. the government has identified a shortcoming and is seeking to rectify it – there remains some disquieting elements to this story. Gus Alexiou, Forbes, "People With Learning Disabilities In England Finally Prioritized For Covid Vaccine," 25 Feb. 2021 The update, announced Tuesday, addresses in part what many saw as the console’s biggest shortcoming after launching in November of 2020. Washington Post, "Sony PS5 update enables external storage for next-gen games, with a caveat," 13 Apr. 2021 But suppliers seemed to have solved that shortcoming. Jim Gronaw,, "Jim Gronaw: Kayaks can be a game-changer | OUTDOORS COMMENTARY," 3 Apr. 2021 Similarly, some interviewees who dislike Trump said that the fact of someone’s support for him would be enough to disqualify them as a potential friend, and it was viewed as a moral shortcoming. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, "The Bonds Trump Broke May Be Broken for Good," 30 Mar. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for shortcoming

Time Traveler

The first known use of shortcoming was in the 15th century

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Statistics for shortcoming

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shortcoming.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for shortcoming



English Language Learners Definition of shortcoming

: a weakness in someone's character : a personal fault or failing
: a bad feature : a flaw or defect in something


short·​com·​ing | \ ˈshȯrt-ˌkə-miŋ How to pronounce shortcoming (audio) \

Kids Definition of shortcoming

: fault sense 1 … her most serious shortcoming seemed to be a tendency to fall into daydreams in the middle of a task …— Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

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