8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary


[shawr-tij] /ˈʃɔr tɪdʒ/
a deficiency in quantity:
a shortage of cash.
the amount of such deficiency.
1865-70; short + -age
Related forms
preshortage, noun
1. lack, want, scarcity. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for shortages
  • Some of these shortages resulted in food riots and even deadly stampedes.
  • This would either cause food shortages or dramatic rises in food prices.
  • The shortages sparked riots in which several people were killed.
  • Because of shortages of fodder, all surplus livestock was slaughtered in the autumn.
  • He also anticipated modern concerns with fuel shortages and industrial pollution.
  • Fishing was prohibited as well which caused further supply shortages.
  • Energy shortages are common throughout the country including in yangon.
  • The city faces problems of water shortages, traffic congestion and air pollution.
  • At present, water shortages mean that the lakes are often largely dry land.
  • Depleted by casualties and desertions, the military suffered chronic manpower shortages.
British Dictionary definitions for shortages


a deficiency or lack in the amount needed, expected, or due; deficit
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 shortages



1862, American English, from short + -age.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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shortages in Culture

shortage definition

A condition that exists when demand exceeds supply because of a lack of equilibrium in a market. If a price is artificially low, buyers want to buy more of a good than sellers are willing to sell. (Compare surplus.)

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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