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


demerit, dereliction, failing, fault, foible, frailty, sin, vice, want, weakness


merit, virtue

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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

To fill their red zone shortcomings and Green’s void, expect the Bengals to look Tyler Eifert or Tyler Boyd’s way in the red zone. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, "Behind enemy lines, 49ers vs. Bengals: Five questions with opposing beat writer," 12 Sep. 2019 And his was the first of many to point out the blocking shortcomings. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football mailbag: Fans air grievances about hapless offense," 7 Sep. 2019 For the third-year quarterback, there were too many familiar shortcomings. Rich Campbell,, "5 observations from rewatching the Bears’ Week 1 loss to the Packers, including Mitch Trubisky’s moment of truth and the defense’s sack machine," 7 Sep. 2019 The reports that came from the investigation laid many of the problems at the feet of management for staff shortcomings. oregonlive, "Portland’s troubled psychiatric center gets new leader," 3 Sep. 2019 Despite potential shortcomings, Bridgefy exemplifies the tools Hong Kong protestors have at their disposal, even if the government blocks internet service providers. Matthew De Silva, Quartz, "Hong Kong protestors are once again using mesh networks to preempt an internet shutdown," 3 Sep. 2019 As irresistible force to Tierney's immovable object, Jonigkeit steals most of their scenes, not due to his partner's dramatic shortcomings but because Scratch is witty where Sawyer is smart, and witty is just more fun. Jordan Riefe, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Witch': Theater Review," 30 Aug. 2019 Mistakes and roster shortcomings doom the Hoosiers yet again at Maryland, where their bowl hopes ultimately died in 2017. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana football: Best- and worst-case scenario for 2019," 27 Aug. 2019 Those shortcomings have caused some AI researchers to greet OpenAI’s claims of an imminent threat to society with derision. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "OpenAI Said Its Code Was Risky. Two Grads Recreated It Anyway," 26 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for shortcoming

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for shortcoming

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

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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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Comments on shortcoming

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


to spread over or through

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