from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Deficiency or absence: Lack of funding brought the project to a halt.
  • n. A particular deficiency or absence: Owing to a lack of supporters, the reforms did not succeed.
  • transitive v. To be without or in need of: lacked the strength to lift the box.
  • intransitive v. To be missing or deficient: We suspected that he was lying, but proof was lacking.
  • intransitive v. To be in need of something: She does not lack for friends.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A defect or failing; moral or spiritual degeneracy.
  • n. A deficiency or need (of something desirable or necessary); an absence, want.
  • v. To be without, to need, to require.
  • v. To be short (of or for something).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Blame; cause of blame; fault; crime; offense.
  • n. Deficiency; want; need; destitution; failure.
  • interj. Exclamation of regret or surprise.
  • intransitive v. To be wanting; often, impersonally, with of, meaning, to be less than, short, not quite, etc.
  • intransitive v. To be in want.
  • transitive v. To blame; to find fault with.
  • transitive v. To be without or destitute of; to want; to need.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To be wanting or deficient; come short; fail.
  • To be absent or away; be missing.
  • To be in want; suffer need.
  • To be wanting to; fail.
  • To be in want of; stand in need of; want; be without; be destitute of; fail to have or to possess.
  • To suffer the absence of; feel the deprivation of; miss.
  • To blame; reproach; speak in detraction of.
  • To beat. Also lacky.
  • Synonyms Lack, Need, Want. These words have come to overlap each other a good deal by figurative extension, and have considerable variety of peculiar idiomatic use. To lack is primarily and generally to be without, that which is lacked being generally some one thing, and a thing which is desirable, although generally not necessary or very important.
  • To pierce the hull of with shot.
  • See lac.
  • To lacquer; treat with lac.
  • Used in the exclamatory phrase Good lack. See good.
  • n. Want or deficiency of something requisite or desirable; defect; failure; need.
  • n. Want of presence; a state of being away; absence.
  • n. A want; defect; a blemish; especially, a moral defect; a fault in character.
  • n. A fault committed; an offense; a censurable act.
  • n. Blame; reproach; rebuke; censure.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the state of needing something that is absent or unavailable
  • v. be without


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, perhaps from Middle Dutch lac, deficiency, fault.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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


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