\ ˈlak How to pronounce lack (audio) \
lacked; lacking; lacks

Definition of lack

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to be deficient or missing time is lacking for a full explanation
2 : to be short or have need of something he will not lack for advisers The area does not lack for good restaurants.

transitive verb

: to stand in need of : suffer from the absence or deficiency of lack the necessities of life She lacked confidence.



Definition of lack (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the fact or state of being wanting or deficient a lack of evidence
2 : something that is lacking or is needed

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Synonyms & Antonyms for lack

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of lack in a Sentence

Verb His book lacks any coherent structure. They lack a good strategy for winning the election. This painting lacks any artistic value. She has never been accused of lacking confidence. Many of these people lack the basic necessities of life. Noun The problem is a lack of money. She has been suffering from a lack of sleep lately. Her problem is lack of sleep.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Abbott and a number of other governors whose Covid-19 restrictions—or lack thereof—have garnered particular controversy will be up for reelection in 2022, including Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Wisconsin Gov. Alison Durkee, Forbes, 16 Sep. 2021 Red Table Talk made its big return to Facebook Watch in grand fashion, talking all things hair (or lack thereof). Essence, 15 Sep. 2021 Double Hill and Kelce on every snap, forcing the Chiefs’ depth (or lack thereof) to beat them. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, 11 Sep. 2021 Odighizuwa, for his part, doesn’t think voicing his opinion on Brady’s mobility—or lack thereof—is a mistake. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, 2 Sep. 2021 Additionally, there were concerns over the event's COVID safety protocols (or lack thereof). Naledi Ushe,, 28 Aug. 2021 While Connell and Marianne's interaction may have left me feeling warm and fuzzy inside, my first experiences with consent — or lack thereof — were quite different. Katherine Singh,, 24 Aug. 2021 The Delta variant, general uncertainty and school protocols (or lack thereof) have left parents across the U.S. reeling. Rosie Colosi, NBC News, 20 Aug. 2021 These tales of celebrity hygiene (or lack thereof) are ripe for discussion. Michelle Rui, Vogue, 9 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Moreover, because of the lack of resources, the team needs to be able to prioritize clearly and efficiently. Abdo Riani, Forbes, 20 Sep. 2021 That had to be in part because of the lack of a big back or physical offensive line. Dave Hyde,, 19 Sep. 2021 The national average is 12,528 cases per 100,000 people, although the rates in states hard hit early in the pandemic may be an undercount because of a lack of available testing in March and April 2020. Alison Steinbach, The Arizona Republic, 18 Sep. 2021 Challenges with China, climate change and debt are being ignored, the Utah Republican says, because of a lack of political will. Matt Canham, The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 Sep. 2021 The Braves did not practice Monday and Tuesday because of a lack of available athletic trainers due to COVID-19. Creg Stephenson |, al, 17 Sep. 2021 The health system, like others in Michigan and nationwide, is experiencing staffing shortages and has temporarily closed about 180 beds because of a lack of staffing. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, 16 Sep. 2021 Earlier reports had found that COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death among Black Americans, in part because of the lack of access to medical care. Julie Mazziotta,, 15 Sep. 2021 The defense was expected to be an issue for the Buckeyes entering the season because of the lack of experience among linebackers and defensive backs. Bill Rabinowitz, USA TODAY, 14 Sep. 2021

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


12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lack

Noun and Verb

Middle English lak; akin to Middle Dutch lak lack, Old Norse lakr defective

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Time Traveler for lack

Time Traveler

The first known use of lack was in the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near lack




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Statistics for lack

Last Updated

22 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lack.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for lack



English Language Learners Definition of lack

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to not have (something) : to not have enough of (something)



English Language Learners Definition of lack (Entry 2 of 2)

: the state or condition of not having any or enough of something : the state or condition of lacking something


\ ˈlak How to pronounce lack (audio) \
lacked; lacking

Kids Definition of lack

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to be missing Something is lacking in the soup.
2 : to need or be without something I lack the necessary money.



Kids Definition of lack (Entry 2 of 2)

: the fact or state of not having any or enough of something a lack of time

More from Merriam-Webster on lack

Nglish: Translation of lack for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lack for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about lack


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