- 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 lacked
The court ruled she lacked the maturity to make her own medical decisions.Should Teens Have The Right To Die?
January 8, 2015
The 2014 election was a wipeout, progressives say, because Democrats lacked a bold economic message to inspire voters.Progressives: Big Ideas Will Win Us 2016
December 10, 2014
He was no teacher, and he lacked the tact required in getting along with his classes.Stonewall Jackson, VMI’s Most Embattled Professor
S. C. Gwynne
November 29, 2014
But that was so yesterday, much like his contention that he lacked the power to unilaterally confer amnesty.With Immigration Move, Obama and the Welfare Party Strike Again
November 24, 2014
Kalman studied literature and wanted to be a writer, but thought she lacked talent.The Singular Artist of New Yorkistan
November 14, 2014
What the minister lacked, Cornelia had; Cornelia lacked nothing.
Janet, be it remembered, lacked but two years of the fatal age.
Assured that it was only a wife that Timmins lacked, he sighed relief.
Some things he lacked: he hadn't no immagination at all, not one speck.Samantha Among the Brethren, Part 6.
Josiah Allen's Wife (Marietta Holley)
The Professor had genius, but lacked the great social virtue of resignation.The Secret Agent
- 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 lacked
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.