Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Deficiency or absence.
  • noun A particular deficiency or absence.
  • intransitive verb To be without or in need of.
  • intransitive verb To be missing or deficient.
  • intransitive verb To be in need of something.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Used in the exclamatory phrase Good lack. See good.
  • 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.
  • To lacquer; treat with lac.
  • See lac.
  • noun Want or deficiency of something requisite or desirable; defect; failure; need.
  • noun Want of presence; a state of being away; absence.
  • noun A want; defect; a blemish; especially, a moral defect; a fault in character.
  • noun A fault committed; an offense; a censurable act.
  • noun Blame; reproach; rebuke; censure.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • noun the state of needing something that is absent or unavailable
  • verb be without

Etymologies

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")).

Examples

  • Lack of confidence During a debate in the British Parliament Thursday, Finance Minister George Osborne blamed the stock market drops on what he called a lack of confidence in ability of governments to repay their debts.

    European Markets Bounce Back After Volatile Trading

  • Lack of confidence During a debate in the British Parliament Thursday, Finance Minister George Osborne blamed the stock market drops on what he called a lack of confidence in ability of governments to repay their debts.

    European Markets Bounce Back After Volatile Trading

  • But in a brief telephone call from Athens after talks with Greek officials, Mr. Dallara expressed concern over what he called the "lack of clear process" to complete negotiations.

    Greece Scrambles to Complete Debt Talks

  • Tim Pawlenty, who has lagged behind in national public-opinion polls, came out swinging: He jabbed front-runner Mitt Romney, mocking his wealth, and he criticized surging fellow Minnesotan Michele Bachmann for what he called her lack of experience and successes.

    Debate Jolts Republican Race to Life

  • More photos and interactive graphics Escalating tensions, the Gulf Arab countries brokering negotiations between the Yemeni strongman and the wide-ranging political opposition calling for an end to his 32-year rule suspended their efforts because of what they called the "lack of appropriate conditions" for a peaceful handover of power.

    Yemen Leader Balks at Quitting

  • He also took to task Republicans, the Tea Party and what he called the lack of shared sacrifice in both the economy and the just-passed debt ceiling bill.

    Matt Damon Rips Debt Deal, Republicans, Tea Party (VIDEO)

  • In his remarks, President Obama referred again to what he called a lack of political will in Washington and an "insistence on drawing lines in the sand" that he said needs to be changed as the deficit and debt debate moves forward.

    Obama: Renewed Sense of Urgency for Debt, Deficit Reduction Amid Market Turmoil

  • In his remarks, President Obama referred again to what he called a lack of political will in Washington and an "insistence on drawing lines in the sand" that he said needs to be changed as the deficit and debt debate moves forward.

    Obama: Renewed Sense of Urgency for Debt, Deficit Reduction Amid Market Turmoil

  • In his remarks, President Obama referred again to what he called a lack of political will in Washington and an "insistence on drawing lines in the sand" that he said needs to be changed as the deficit and debt debate moves forward.

    Obama: Renewed Sense of Urgency for Debt, Deficit Reduction Amid Market Turmoil

  • Lack of confidence During a debate in the British Parliament Thursday, Finance Minister George Osborne blamed the stock market drops on what he called a lack of confidence in ability of governments to repay their debts.

    European Markets Bounce Back After Volatile Trading

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