short·​fall | \ ˈshȯrt-ˌfȯl How to pronounce shortfall (audio) \

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 district is also navigating a budget shortfall while paying for the health and safety upgrades. Jill Tucker,, "SF private schools inch closer to reopening but SF public schools might not return until January," 17 Sep. 2020 But Democrats countered that those options won’t fully make up for the shortfall and already involve reductions in services for Floridians. Steven Lemongello,, "Florida tourism will take up to three years to recover from COVID-19, state economist predicts," 10 Sep. 2020 Last month, facing a budget shortfall of at least $75 million because of the pandemic, the University of Iowa welcomed thousands of students back to its campus — and into the surrounding community. Sarah Watson, Star Tribune, "A new front in America's pandemic: College towns," 7 Sep. 2020 Meanwhile, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that the city of Chicago is expected to have a budget deficit of $800 million for 2020, and a budget shortfall of $1.2 billion for next year. Chicago Tribune Staff,, "Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what’s happening Tuesday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area," 1 Sep. 2020 The state expected a budget shortfall of $1 billion for the year but the actual deficit was $210 million.... The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Georgia’s Pandemic Progress," 24 Aug. 2020 The agency is facing a huge budget shortfall this year and has asked Congress for $1.2 billion to cover the gap. Daniel Gonzalez, The Arizona Republic, "The cost of applying for U.S. citizenship is dramatically increasing," 10 July 2020 The Joint Legislative Budget Committee’s staff projected in April that the state could face a budget shortfall of $638 million in the fiscal year that ends this month. Andrew Oxford, azcentral, "Arizona budget picture not as dire as projected; cuts to services may be avoided for now," 19 June 2020 The city is facing a massive budget shortfall, as widespread unemployment has depleted Louisville's payroll tax revenue. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "Mayor Greg Fischer administration seeking $1.5M to support Louisville's disconnected youth," 1 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for shortfall

Time Traveler

The first known use of shortfall was in 1895

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Statistics for shortfall

Last Updated

21 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shortfall.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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How to pronounce shortfall (audio)

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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