Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Inadequacy or insufficiency: a deficit in grain production.
  • n. A deficiency or impairment in mental or physical functioning.
  • n. An unfavorable condition or position; a disadvantage: rallied from a three-game deficit to win the playoffs.
  • n. The amount by which a sum of money falls short of the required or expected amount; a shortage: large budget deficits.
  • n. A business loss.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Deficiency in amount or quality; a falling short; lack.
  • n. A situation wherein, or amount whereby, spending exceeds government revenue.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Deficiency in amount or quality; a falling short; lack

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A failure or falling off in amount; specifically, a financial deficiency: as, a deficit in the taxes or revenue.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an excess of liabilities over assets (usually over a certain period)
  • n. (sports) the score by which a team or individual is losing
  • n. the property of being an amount by which something is less than expected or required
  • n. a deficiency or failure in neurological or mental functioning

Etymologies

French déficit, from Latin dēficit, it is lacking, third person sing. present tense of dēficere, to fail, be lacking; see defect.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French déficit, from Latin dēficit. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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