AskDefine | Define lack

Dictionary Definition

lack n : the state of needing something that is absent or unavailable; "there is a serious lack of insight into the problem"; "water is the critical deficiency in desert regions"; "for want of a nail the shoe was lost" [syn: deficiency, want] v : be without; "This soup lacks salt"; "There is something missing in my jewellery box!" [syn: miss] [ant: have]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Lack



Apparently cognate with Middle Low German lak, Middle Dutch lac ( > modern lak).


  • a UK /lak/
  • a US /læk/
  • Rhymes with: -æk


  1. A defect or failing; moral or spiritual degeneracy.
  2. A deficiency or need (of something desirable or necessary); an absence, want.


deficiency, need


  1. To be without, to need, to require.
    My life lacks excitement.
  2. To be short (of or for something).
    He'll never lack for company while he's got all that money.


be without, need, require

Related terms

Extensive Definition

To lack something is to not have it.
Lack can also refer to:

See also

  • Lakh, a term in India for 100000(105).
lack in Yiddish: חסרון

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

absence, adulteration, arrearage, awayness, bare cupboard, bare subsistence, be found wanting, be in want, be insufficient, be pinched, be poor, beggarliness, beggary, blank, break, collapse, come short, dearth, decline, defalcation, default, defect, defectibility, defectiveness, deficiency, deficit, deprivation, destitution, discontinuity, drought, empty purse, erroneousness, fail, fail of, fall away, fall short, fall shy, fallibility, famine, faultiness, gap, go on welfare, grinding poverty, gripe, hand-to-mouth existence, hiatus, homelessness, immaturity, impairment, imperfection, impoverishment, impurity, inaccuracy, inadequacy, inadequateness, incompleteness, indigence, inexactitude, inexactness, insufficiency, interval, kick the beam, lacuna, lag, lose ground, mediocrity, mendicancy, miss, missing link, moneylessness, necessitousness, necessity, need, neediness, neverness, nonexistence, nonoccurrence, nonpresence, not answer, not hack it, not make it, not make out, not measure up, not qualify, not stretch, not suffice, nowhereness, omission, outage, patchiness, paucity, pauperism, pauperization, penury, pinch, privation, require, run short, run short of, scantiness, scarcity, shortage, shortcoming, shortfall, sketchiness, slump, starvation, starve, stop short, subtraction, ullage, underage, undevelopment, unevenness, unperfectedness, unsoundness, want, wantage
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