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[shawrt-kuhm-ing] /ˈʃɔrtˌkʌm ɪŋ/
a failure, defect, or deficiency in conduct, condition, thought, ability, etc.:
a social shortcoming; a shortcoming of his philosophy.
Origin of shortcoming
1670-80; short + coming
fault, flaw, failing, weakness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for shortcoming
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It came to that at last, that I could not bear to speak to him of any shortcoming as to one of his own clergymen.

    The Last Chronicle of Barset Anthony Trollope
  • She believed it was some fault, some shortcoming, of hers that had kept it from her.

    The Crooked House Brandon Fleming
  • Some exceptionally beautiful poems possess this shortcoming, and, again, words that prove insurmountable obstacles.

    Edward MacDowell Lawrence Gilman
  • Could their relationship fail because of this shortcoming on her part?

    Ten From Infinity Paul W. Fairman
  • This shortcoming of Marxism is cured by Dietzgen, who made the nature of the mind the special object of his investigations.

  • But be it said that his ill success was due to no fault or shortcoming of his.

    The heart of happy hollow Paul Laurence Dunbar
  • That's your only shortcoming—otherwise you would be quite perfect.

British Dictionary definitions for shortcoming


a failing, defect, or deficiency
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 shortcoming

1670s, from the phrase to come short "be inadequate" (1570s); see short (adj.). Related: Shortcomings.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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