- deficiency or absence of something needed, desirable, or customary: lack of money; lack of skill.
- something missing or needed: After he left, they really felt the lack.
verb (used with object)
- to be without or deficient in: to lack ability; to lack the necessities of life.
- to fall short in respect of: He lacks three votes to win.
verb (used without object)
- to be absent or missing, as something needed or desirable: Three votes are lacking to make a majority.
- lack in, to be short of or deficient in: What he lacks in brains, he makes up for in brawn.
- an insufficiency, shortage, or absence of something required or desired
- something that is required but is absent or in short supply
- (when intr, often foll by in or for) to be deficient (in) or have need (of)to lack purpose
n.c.1300, “absence, want; shortage, deficiency,” perhaps from an unrecorded Old English *lac, or else borrowed from Middle Dutch lak “deficiency, fault;” in either case from Proto-Germanic *laka- (cf. Old Frisian lek “disadvantage, damage,” Old Norse lakr “lacking”), from PIE *leg- “to dribble, trickle.” Middle English also had lackless “without blame or fault.” v.late 12c., perhaps from Middle Dutch laken “to be wanting,” from lak (n.) “deficiency, fault,” or an unrecorded native cognate word (see lack (n.)). Related: Lacked; lacking.