short·​fall | \ ˈshȯrt-ˌfȯl \

Definition of shortfall

: a failure to come up to expectation or need a budget shortfall also : the amount of such failure a $2 million shortfall

Examples of shortfall in a Sentence

a shortfall in milk production

Recent Examples on the Web

The new standard for steel rebar in China—which sets out specifications for three high-strength grades, each requiring a helping of vanadium—took shape as buyers were facing a shortfall. Rhiannon Hoyle, WSJ, "Vanadium Is Used to Strengthen Steel and China Can’t Get Enough of It," 27 Dec. 2018 The county is facing a minimum $30 million budget shortfall. Christina Maxouris, ajc, "Cobb Chairman: County credit rating at risk without tax hike," 25 June 2018 His comments came as the community college district faces a budget shortfall exacerbated by tuition-free dual credit programs such as the one offered by Judson. Alia Malik, San Antonio Express-News, "Incoming Alamo Colleges chancellor continues public meet-and-greets," 4 Apr. 2018 Eastern Michigan, based in Ypsilanti and facing steep budget shortfalls, will drop the four sports programs at the end of the school year. Perry A. Farrell, Detroit Free Press, "Eastern Michigan football not welcome at Lowell after cutting four sports," 22 Mar. 2018 Bentley's plan would have pledged the money to the General Fund, which has faced significant shortfalls in recent years. Mike Cason,, "Alabama Lottery bill clears first step, but approval a poor bet," 28 Feb. 2018 To make up for the shortfall, and to support land wars in the post-9/11 era, the Navy had planned to build 32 Zumwalt class destroyers. Instead of 32 ships, the U.S. got three. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "As the Final Zumwalt-Class Stealth Destroyer Launches, the Ships’ Fate Remains Unclear," 11 Dec. 2018 In addition to seeking out other energy sources, the company is trying to make up for the shortfall in natural-gas supplies by reducing consumption by 15 percent, Henderson said. Heidi Groover, The Seattle Times, "Risk of power outages in Puget Sound after Canadian pipeline explosion cuts off natural-gas supply," 10 Oct. 2018 Many are made by only a few companies so when production problems occur, other drugmakers can’t make up for the shortfall. Washington Post, "FDA to more aggressively tackle disruptive drug shortages," 12 July 2018

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

1895, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for shortfall

Last Updated

10 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for shortfall

The first known use of shortfall was in 1895

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English Language Learners Definition of shortfall

formal : a failure to get what is expected or needed also : the amount of such a failure

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More from Merriam-Webster on shortfall

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shortfall

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Spanish Central: Translation of shortfall

Comments on shortfall

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excited commotion or publicity

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