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 funding shortfall, which policy makers have seen coming for years, didn’t merit a mention in the Democratic presidential debates in June. Robert Weisman,, "Invisible no more: Social Security will soon slide into insolvency," 20 July 2019 Facing that shortfall, Iran instead invested heavily into its ballistic missile program. Jon Gambrell, USA TODAY, "Iran's foreign minister says talks on ballistic missiles with US possible," 16 July 2019 Orange County, which has often tapped transportation reserves to make up for Lynx shortfalls, won’t tap the piggy bank anymore, Petersen said. Stephen Hudak,, "Proposed Orange County budget includes money for more deputies, more firefighters — and raises for full-time county workers making less than $15 an hour," 15 July 2019 If in about 15 years the Social Security system lessens our benefits by [the shortfall] that’s around $8,000 yearly for us. Michelle Singletary, Washington Post, "No, that’s not the government calling threatening to ‘suspend’ your Social Security number.," 8 July 2019 Not enough It is widely recognised that in times of a significant shortfall in demand, the government must step up spending. Rahul Menon, Quartz India, "The Modi government wants a $5 trillion economy by 2024, but has done little to back it," 8 July 2019 To overcome the winter sunlight shortfall, mutations in two of the 68 genes used to synthesize and process vitamin D make the process up to 20 times more efficient, researchers report today in Science. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "How reindeer evolved to survive freezing Arctic winters," 20 June 2019 The bill was a high priority as lawmakers were scrambling to address a $10 billion shortfall, recalled former state Rep. Talmadge Heflin, one of the bill’s co-authors. Elizabeth Byrne, Shiying Cheng, Houston Chronicle, "Texas vaccine exemption rates have reached an all-time high. Did Texas make it too easy for parents," 12 June 2019 As recently as December 2011, center officials told The Enquirer that the institution would be forced to close if a stubborn $1.5 million budget shortfall could not be closed. Mark Curnutte,, "For 15th anniversary, 15 facts about the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center," 2 Aug. 2019

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

25 Aug 2019

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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

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


a haphazard or makeshift solution

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