[ lak ]
See synonyms for: lacklackedlackinglacks on

  1. deficiency or absence of something needed, desirable, or customary: lack of money; lack of skill.

  2. something missing or needed: After he left, they really felt the lack.

verb (used with object)
  1. to be without or deficient in: to lack ability; to lack the necessities of life.

  2. to fall short in respect of: He lacks three votes to win.

verb (used without object)
  1. to be absent or missing, as something needed or desirable: Three votes are lacking to make a majority.

Verb Phrases
  1. lack in, to be short of or deficient in: What he lacks in brains, he makes up for in brawn.

Origin of lack

First recorded in 1125–75; Middle English lak; cognate with Middle Low German lak, Middle Dutch lac “deficiency”; akin to Old Norse lakr “deficient”

Other words for lack

Opposites for lack Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use lack in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for lack


/ (læk) /

  1. an insufficiency, shortage, or absence of something required or desired

  2. something that is required but is absent or in short supply

  1. (when intr, often foll by in or for) to be deficient (in) or have need (of): to lack purpose

Origin of lack

C12: related to Middle Dutch laken to be wanting

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