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lack

[lak] /læk/
noun
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)
3.
to be without or deficient in:
to lack ability; to lack the necessities of life.
4.
to fall short in respect of:
He lacks three votes to win.
verb (used without object)
5.
to be absent or missing, as something needed or desirable:
Three votes are lacking to make a majority.
Verb phrases
6.
lack in, to be short of or deficient in:
What he lacks in brains, he makes up for in brawn.
Origin
1125-1175
1125-75; Middle English lak; cognate with Middle Low German lak, Middle Dutch lac deficiency; akin to Old Norse lakr deficient
Synonyms
1. dearth, scarcity, paucity, deficit, insufficiency. 1, 3. want, need. 3. Lack, want, need, require as verbs all stress the absence of something desirable, important, or necessary. Lack means to be without or to have less than a desirable quantity of something: to lack courage, sufficient money, enough members to make a quorum. Want may imply some urgency in fulfilling a requirement or a desire: Willing workers are badly wanted. The room wants some final touch to make it homey. Need often suggests even more urgency than does want stressing the necessity of supplying what is lacking: to need an operation, better food, a match to light the fire. Require, which expresses necessity as strongly as need, occurs most frequently in serious or formal contexts: Your presence at the hearing is required. Successful experimentation requires careful attention to detail.
Antonyms
1. surplus.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for lacked
  • But until this discovery, they lacked physical evidence.
  • It entirely lacked any sign of internal bone structure that a real dinosaur bone would exhibit.
  • For a long time it was thought that dinosaurs lacked clavicles.
  • Although the being looked apish in many ways, the face lacked a pronounced muzzle as seen in chimps and gorillas.
  • All was good except that the building lacked a cafeteria for its employees.
  • His means toward that end, however, have lacked any of the masterpiece's grace and beauty.
  • Faculty members have complained that he lacked sufficient understanding of higher education and led with an autocratic style.
  • Although the job lacked tenure, it was crucial to the department.
  • And having to resubmit the entire proposal, again and again, for one word that lacked a capital letter is ludicrous.
  • It seems to have lacked a trunk but may have had a prehensile upper lip.
British Dictionary definitions for lacked

lack

/læk/
noun
1.
an insufficiency, shortage, or absence of something required or desired
2.
something that is required but is absent or in short supply
verb
3.
when intr, often foll by in or for. to be deficient (in) or have need (of) to lack purpose
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for lacked
lack
c.1200, may have existed as unrecorded O.E. *lac or else it was borrowed from M.Du. lak "deficiency, fault;" in either case from P.Gmc. *laka- (cf. O.N. lakr "lacking"). The verb is attested earlier, late 12c., but is considered to be from the noun. Related: Lacking.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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