- deficiency or absence of something needed, desirable, or customary: lack of money; lack of skill.
- something missing or needed: After he left, they really felt the lack.
- to be without or deficient in: to lack ability; to lack the necessities of life.
- to fall short in respect of: He lacks three votes to win.
- to be absent or missing, as something needed or desirable: Three votes are lacking to make a majority.
- lack in, to be short of or deficient in: What he lacks in brains, he makes up for in brawn.
Origin of lack
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for lack
But in the case of black women, another study found no lack of interest.The Unbearable Whiteness of Congress
January 8, 2015
There were also crashes not due to either mechanical or human error but to a lack of warning of dangerous conditions.
But this physical involvement, or lack of it, is only part of the problem.
There are a few good ones, Antoine says, but he complained bitterly of a lack of responsiveness.Ground Zero of the NYPD Slowdown
January 1, 2015
The following month came, and for lack of a better term, I chickened out.Dear Leelah, We Will Fight On For You: A Letter to a Dead Trans Teen
January 1, 2015
We cannot afford to do everything, nor can we afford to lack boldness as we meet the future.
I am willing to believe that the lack of understanding was my own fault, but a lack of understanding there was.
The things we lack are more vivid to us, as a rule, than those we have acquired.
There are consciousnesses of lack which carry more bliss than any possession.
In the selfishness of his misery he looked upon this as lack of sympathy with himself.
- an insufficiency, shortage, or absence of something required or desired
- something that is required but is absent or in short supply
- (when intr, often foll by in or for) to be deficient (in) or have need (of)to lack purpose
Word Origin and History for lack
c.1300, "absence, want; shortage, deficiency," perhaps from an unrecorded Old English *lac, or else borrowed from Middle Dutch lak "deficiency, fault;" in either case from Proto-Germanic *laka- (cf. Old Frisian lek "disadvantage, damage," Old Norse lakr "lacking"), from PIE *leg- "to dribble, trickle." Middle English also had lackless "without blame or fault."
late 12c., perhaps from Middle Dutch laken "to be wanting," from lak (n.) "deficiency, fault," or an unrecorded native cognate word (see lack (n.)). Related: Lacked; lacking.