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90s Slang You Should Know


[def-uh-sit; British also dih-fis-it] /ˈdɛf ə sɪt; British also dɪˈfɪs ɪt/
the amount by which a sum of money falls short of the required amount.
the amount by which expenditures or liabilities exceed income or assets.
a lack or shortage; deficiency.
a disadvantage, impairment, or handicap:
The team's major deficit is its poor pitching.
a loss, as in the operation of a business.
Origin of deficit
1775-85; < Latin dēficit (it) lacks, 3rd person singular present indicative of dēficere; see deficient
Related forms
superdeficit, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for deficit
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The fellows will easily make up the deficit, and give enough over to provide for traveling expenses.

    Batting to Win Lester Chadwick
  • He might perhaps have dispersed the Assembly; he could not disperse debt and deficit.

  • A paltry £10,000 a year would pay the annual deficit in such a theatre.

    The Golden Butterfly Walter Besant
  • The deficit is worth a reference; it is for what they call a cool sum, Frank.

  • Despite the solicitude of Congress the revenue failed to recover, and in 1837 and several succeeding years showed a deficit.

British Dictionary definitions for deficit


/ˈdɛfɪsɪt; dɪˈfɪsɪt/
the amount by which an actual sum is lower than that expected or required
  1. an excess of liabilities over assets
  2. an excess of expenditures over revenues during a certain period
  3. an excess of payments over receipts on the balance of payments
Word Origin
C18: from Latin, literally: there is lacking, from dēficere to be lacking
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 deficit

1782, from French déficit (late 17c.), from Latin deficit "it is wanting," an introductory word in clauses of inventory, third person singular present indicative of deficere "to be deficient" (see deficient).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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deficit in Medicine

deficit def·i·cit (děf'ĭ-sĭt)

  1. A lack or deficiency of a substance.

  2. A lack or impairment in mental or physical functioning.

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

deficit definition

A shortage, especially the amount by which a sum of money falls short of what is required; a debt.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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