short·​com·​ing ˈshȯrt-ˌkə-miŋ How to pronounce shortcoming (audio)
: an imperfection or lack that detracts from the whole
also : the quality or state of being flawed or lacking

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 Professors in universities around the country have begun begrudgingly using AI detection software despite recognizing its known accuracy shortcomings. Mack Degeurin, Popular Science, 11 Apr. 2024 Sanders’ proposal echoes what patient-advocates have been calling for since the beginning of the pandemic, a demand that has only become more forceful with time (and the shortcomings of existing long Covid research). Isabella Cueto, STAT, 11 Apr. 2024 Mental health risks among athletes Both the authors and experts uninvolved in the study acknowledge some shortcomings of the research. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 10 Apr. 2024 While there's concerns that not all glasses marketed as eclipse glasses live up to that standard, experts say usually the shortcomings aren't significant. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, 27 Mar. 2024 The lesson to be learned from the shortcomings of utilitarianism is not that the philosophy should be abandoned, but rather that other values besides maximizing total welfare must also guide behavior. James Broughel, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 In a bright conference room in Oakland, California, Hassenfeld and I discussed corruption in EA, the shortcomings of storytelling, and whether some lives are more worth saving than others. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, 27 Mar. 2024 Such patients tend to fixate on the shortcomings of these lenses despite their potential advantages. Discover Magazine, 27 Mar. 2024 Babes The Bottom Line Comedic strengths compensate for dramatic shortcomings. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shortcoming.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near shortcoming

Cite this Entry

“Shortcoming.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


short·​com·​ing ˈshȯrt-ˌkəm-iŋ How to pronounce shortcoming (audio)

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