short·​com·​ing | \ ˈshȯrt-ˌkə-miŋ How to pronounce shortcoming (audio) , ˌshȯrt-ˈkə- \

Definition of shortcoming

: an imperfection or lack that detracts from the whole also : the quality or state of being flawed or lacking

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Synonyms & Antonyms for shortcoming



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Examples of shortcoming in a Sentence

Her lack of attention to detail is her biggest shortcoming. The main shortcoming of this camera is that it uses up batteries quickly.
Recent Examples on the Web All of a sudden this seemed like a shortcoming in need of immediate attention. New York Times, 1 Sep. 2021 The statement amounts to a public concession by the Tesla CEO of a shortcoming in a driver-assistance feature designed to help vehicles steer through urban areas. Rebecca Elliott, WSJ, 24 Aug. 2021 The increase also highlighted a shortcoming in county services — no shelters or transitional housing. John Tuohy, The Indianapolis Star, 10 Aug. 2021 The one shortcoming that may be a deal breaker for some travelers is the lack of a true spa and pool. Larry Olmsted, Forbes, 3 Sep. 2021 The culprit is a frustrating and persistent shortcoming of the American economy. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 18 Aug. 2021 The proposal correctly identifies an important shortcoming and unmet need under current arrangements, and is well targeted in its attempt to improve the situation. Chris Pope, National Review, 2 Sep. 2021 The president, aware of both decisions, has asked the CDC to issue an order that has precisely the same statutory shortcoming as the first one, and is therefore void. Charles C. W. Cooke, National Review, 4 Aug. 2021 The bill also does not address who qualifies for unemployment or how much claimants can collect, a shortcoming for Democrats who want to fix the CONNECT system but who have also called for reforming the program entirely. Caroline Glenn,, 15 Mar. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for shortcoming

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The first known use of shortcoming was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near shortcoming



short corner

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Statistics for shortcoming

Last Updated

21 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shortcoming.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of shortcoming

: a weakness in someone's character : a personal fault or failing
: a bad feature : a flaw or defect in something


short·​com·​ing | \ ˈshȯrt-ˌkə-miŋ How to pronounce shortcoming (audio) \

Kids Definition of shortcoming

: fault sense 1 … her most serious shortcoming seemed to be a tendency to fall into daydreams in the middle of a task …— Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

More from Merriam-Webster on shortcoming

Nglish: Translation of shortcoming for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shortcoming for Arabic Speakers


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