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[dih-fish-uh n-see] /dɪˈfɪʃ ən si/
noun, plural deficiencies.
the state of being deficient; lack; incompleteness; insufficiency.
the amount lacked; a deficit.
Origin of deficiency
1625-35; < Late Latin dēficientia, Latin dēficient- (stem of dēficiēns). See deficient, -ency
Related forms
nondeficiency, noun, plural nondeficiencies.
predeficiency, noun, plural predeficiencies.
1. shortage, inadequacy, paucity, scarcity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for deficiency
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was chiefly the deficiency of bread which had compelled the garrison to surrender.

  • As early as 1739 there had been a deficiency in the French finances.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte William Milligan Sloane
  • One kind of gag is attributable to failure of memory or deficiency of study on the part of the player.

    A Book of the Play Dutton Cook
  • But there may be health, and still a deficiency in Energy of Character.

    The Young Maiden A. B. (Artemas Bowers) Muzzey
  • Where this principle fails, it is not easy to suggest a proceeding that shall supply the deficiency.

    Thoughts on Man William Godwin
  • We supplied the deficiency by mixing with them a double quantity of pepper.

    An Explorer's Adventures in Tibet A. Henry Savage Landor
  • This is, as he himself states, the best possible proof that he was unconscious of any error or any deficiency.

    Rural Rides William Cobbett
  • And the present volume has been prepared to supply in part this deficiency.

British Dictionary definitions for deficiency


noun (pl) -cies
the state or quality of being deficient
a lack or insufficiency; shortage
another word for deficit
(biology) the absence of a gene or a region of a chromosome normally present
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for deficiency

1630s, from deficience (mid-15c.) + -cy; or from Late Latin deficientia, from deficientem (see deficient).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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deficiency in Medicine

deficiency de·fi·cien·cy (dĭ-fĭsh'ən-sē)
A lack or shortage of something essential to health; an insufficiency.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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