noun, plural de·fi·cien·cies.

the state of being deficient; lack; incompleteness; insufficiency.
the amount lacked; a deficit.

Nearby words

  1. defibrillation,
  2. defibrillator,
  3. defibrinate,
  4. defibrination,
  5. deficience,
  6. deficiency account,
  7. deficiency disease,
  8. deficiency judgment,
  9. deficiency symptom,
  10. deficient

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for deficiency

British Dictionary definitions for deficiency


noun plural -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

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

Medicine definitions for deficiency




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.