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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.
1670-80; short + coming
fault, flaw, failing, weakness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for shortcoming
  • The shortcoming is not with our brains, its with our languages.
  • The shortcoming is the language which is only the form of verbalization of thinking.
  • The problem is not the shortcoming of the law itself, but rather the reluctance of the agents of the law to apply it.
  • Even if patents are the moneymaker du jour in the tech industry, that shortcoming limits the appeal of either a sale or a spinoff.
  • The book's main shortcoming, however, is in what it overlooks.
  • However, for all its strengths, measurements have a shortcoming.
  • Although this line of research yielded some major insights, it had an obvious shortcoming.
  • The main shortcoming about this paper for me is that it does not highlight the evolutionary history of this adaptation.
  • Our shortcoming-forgive the academic jargon-is discursive.
  • The new lighting systems have one serious shortcoming, however.
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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