\ 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That wasn't on Blashill — the Wings lack the star rosters that populate a playoff team — but the way the Wings stumbled down the stretch after an encouraging first half did not reflect well on him. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, 16 June 2022 Some countries lack training in identifying the virus, endemic to Africa and rarely seen outside of it until this year’s global outbreak. Erin Prater, Fortune, 15 June 2022 Ukrainian troops, suffering increasing casualties, also lack sufficient ammunition. Missy Ryan, Washington Post, 13 June 2022 Colleges and universities in the state lack the capacity to meet both the industry’s workforce needs and students’ level of interest. Erica E. Phillips, Hartford Courant, 12 June 2022 Although Ecuador is relatively financially stable, many Ecuadorians lack access to adequate medical care and the country has some of the highest out-of-pocket health spending in South America. Michael Forster Rothbart, Scientific American, 10 June 2022 Some of that is method, sure, but as has been pointed out here repeatedly of late — the Bruins lack the speed, skill, muscle, and depth to maintain puck possession around the net and score goals. Kevin Paul Dupont,, 4 June 2022 And when there are so many other options to choose from, and these shows lack The Wire‘s army of converts screaming that these new slowpokes are perhaps the best drama ever made, who’s going to want to sit through the pointless meandering? Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 2 June 2022 But following these recommendations can be costly, and many corporations lack the budget to implement effective cybersecurity solutions with up-to-date equipment. Stefan Leipold, Forbes, 19 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Bob Luz, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, said restaurants are taking a hit from the lack of business travelers, too. Andrew Brinker,, 17 June 2022 The brown or dead spots on the large plant can definitely be from lack of water. oregonlive, 12 June 2022 This year’s broadcast won’t suffer from a lack of star power. Brent Lang, Variety, 12 June 2022 The country’s stores remain full from a lack of Black Sea export routes. Yusuf Khan, WSJ, 9 June 2022 From the lack of adequate interoperability, to e-commerce platforms relying on cash transactions due to the complexity of digital payment gateways, and limited fintech product offerings. Hawi Dadhi, Quartz, 8 June 2022 Robin, have white men openly complained to you about suffering from a lack of opportunity? Mikey O'connell, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 June 2022 My days now revolve around waking up disoriented from lack of sleep, getting the house in order, and then descending into work mode. Brendan Doherty, Forbes, 7 June 2022 That said, the overall Moon Knight story suffers from the lack of MCU connections. Chris Smith, BGR, 31 May 2022 See More

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.

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

18 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lack.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for lack


\ 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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