[ 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


su·per·def·i·cit, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for 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 for deficit

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

Medical definitions for deficit

[ dĕfĭ-sĭt ]


A lack or deficiency of a substance.
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.

Cultural definitions for deficit


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

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