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Origin of deficiency

1625–35; < Late Latin dēficientia, Latin dēficient- (stem of dēficiēns). See deficient, -ency
Related formsnon·de·fi·cien·cy, noun, plural non·de·fi·cien·cies.pre·de·fi·cien·cy, noun, plural pre·de·fi·cien·cies.

Synonyms for deficiency

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for deficiencies


noun plural -cies
  1. the state or quality of being deficient
  2. a lack or insufficiency; shortage
  3. another word for deficit
  4. 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

Word Origin and History for deficiencies



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

deficiencies in Medicine


  1. 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.