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[dih-fish-uh n-see] /dɪˈfɪʃ ən si/
noun, plural deficiencies.
the state of being deficient; lack; incompleteness; insufficiency.
the amount lacked; a deficit.
Origin of deficiency
1625-35; < Late Latin dēficientia, Latin dēficient- (stem of dēficiēns). See deficient, -ency
Related forms
nondeficiency, noun, plural nondeficiencies.
predeficiency, noun, plural predeficiencies.
1. shortage, inadequacy, paucity, scarcity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for deficiency
  • Also, look out for yellow leaves from iron deficiency in come soils.
  • Integrated programs that teach students both urban and conservation-planning principles will be key to overcoming this deficiency.
  • Blood loss is the prime suspect for iron deficiency.
  • That's not really an insult as much as a statement of deficiency in one area.
  • Clinical copper deficiency is uncommon in humans, but it can cause a decrease in nitric oxide.
  • Some vitamins or minerals in excess are harmful or can cause a deficiency of something else.
  • Humans and other animals with a sodium deficiency will seek out and ingest sources of sodium.
  • Many vegans do not know the problems of deficiency in their diet and how to correct the losses.
  • All of them have different effects if the mutation is activated in postnatal life from prenatal deficiency.
  • One last thing to note is that iodine deficiency is huge problem worldwide for populations that do not have access to seafood.
British Dictionary definitions for deficiency


noun (pl) -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
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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
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deficiency in Medicine

deficiency de·fi·cien·cy (dĭ-fĭsh'ən-sē)
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.
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