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See more synonyms for shortfall on Thesaurus.com
  1. the quantity or extent by which something falls short; deficiency; shortage.
  2. the act or fact of falling short.
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Origin of shortfall

1890–95; short + fall; from verb phrase fall short
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for shortfall


  1. failure to meet a goal or a requirement
  2. the amount of such a failure; deficiencya shortfall of £30m
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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 shortfall


also short-fall, 1895; see short (adj.) + fall (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper