Try Our Apps


World Series Quiz


[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. 2016.
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for deficiency

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for deficiency

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for deficiency