[def-uh-sit; British also dih-fis-it]
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.

1775–85; < Latin dēficit (it) lacks, 3rd person singular present indicative of dēficere; see deficient

superdeficit, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
deficit (ˈdɛfɪsɪt, dɪˈfɪsɪt)
1.  the amount by which an actual sum is lower than that expected or required
2.  a.  an excess of liabilities over assets
 b.  an excess of expenditures over revenues during a certain period
 c.  an excess of payments over receipts on the balance of payments
[C18: from Latin, literally: there is lacking, from dēficere to be lacking]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1782, from Fr. deficit (1690), from L. deficit "it is wanting," an introductory word in clauses of inventory, third pers. sing. pres. indicative of deficere "to be deficient" (see deficient).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

deficit def·i·cit (děf'ĭ-sĭt)

  1. A lack or deficiency of a substance.

  2. 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.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

deficit definition

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

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Nonetheless, at some point we'll have to rein in budget deficits.
Water deficits, causing decrease in grain production, is one cause of grain independence.
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