Definition of lack in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /lak/


The state of being without or not having enough of something: the case was dismissed for lack of evidence there is no lack of entertainment aboard ship [in singular]: there is a lack of parking space in the town
More example sentences
  • Jagger's conclusions are similar: ‘There is a shocking lack of evidence in this case,’ she says.
  • The Iowa straw poll is just another example of the general lack of enthusiasm for the GOP field.
  • Much of the country is suffering severe lack of water, and the small quantities supplied are not good for human use.
absence, want, need, deficiency, dearth, insufficiency, shortage, shortfall, scarcity, paucity, unavailability, deficit


[with object]
Be without or deficient in: the novel lacks imagination [no object]: she lacks in patience Sam did not lack for friends
More example sentences
  • The Court noted that mediation was mandatory, the controversy was one covered by the statute and, as a result, the courts lacked subject matter jurisdiction to hear the dispute.
  • April and May brought daily news reports quoting U.S. military officers saying they lacked the manpower to do their jobs.
  • We liked the politics of that strategy - for instance, trying to overhaul Social Security and immigration - but it was clear it lacked traction in Congress.
be without, be in need of, need, be lacking, require, want, be short of, be deficient in, be bereft of, be low on, be pressed for, have insufficient
informal be strapped for


Middle English: corresponding to, and perhaps partly from, Middle Dutch and Middle Low German lak 'deficiency', Middle Dutch laken 'lack, blame'.

Words that rhyme with lack

aback, alack, attack, back, black, brack, clack, claque, crack, Dirac, drack, flack, flak, hack, jack, Kazakh, knack, lakh, mac, mach, Nagorno-Karabakh, pack, pitchblack, plaque, quack, rack, sac, sack, shack, shellac, slack, smack, snack, stack, tach, tack, thwack, track, vac, wack, whack, wrack, yak, Zack

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: lack

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.