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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ If you have a slurred voice, people are likely to treat you as mentally deficient.
▪ They specifically admitted children who were behaviorally aggressive, not mentally deficient, brain damaged, or psychotic.
▪ The school I was sent to was overrun with colonial children-many described as mentally deficient and put in special schools.
▪ There is, even yet, a hangover of fear and superstition where the disables or mentally deficient are concerned.
▪ A mentally deficient or unstable individual was not wanted on the line, even if there was a shortage of men.
▪ As many as 2 million students leave school with deficient basic skills.
▪ Your diet is deficient in vitamins.
▪ Gospel preaching will be seriously deficient if this dimension is omitted.
▪ How would they react to a deficient health care system?
▪ It was a delightful, careless room, untidy and rather deficient in comfortable chairs.
▪ It will shock her, this assumed equivalence with a man so strikingly deficient.
▪ The capacity of the ram inboard to accommodate her crew was fearfully deficient....
▪ The investment appraisal published by the Southern board was deficient in many respects.
▪ There is, even yet, a hangover of fear and superstition where the disables or mentally deficient are concerned.
▪ Vitamin E is available from so many food sources that no normal diet could possibly be deficient in it.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Deficient \De*fi"cient\, a. [L. deficiens, -entis, p. pr. of deficere to be wanting. See Defect.] Wanting, to make up completeness; wanting, as regards a requirement; not sufficient; inadequate; defective; imperfect; incomplete; lacking; as, deficient parts; deficient estate; deficient strength; deficient in judgment.

The style was indeed deficient in ease and variety.

Deficient number. (Arith.) See under Abundant. -- De*fi"cient-ly, adv.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1580s, from Latin deficientem (nominative deficiens), present participle of deficere "to desert, revolt, fail," from de- "down, away" (see de-) + facere "to do, perform" (see factitious).


a. 1 lack something essential; ''often construed with'' in''. 2 insufficient or inadequate in amount.

  1. adj. inadequate in amount or degree; "a deficient education"; "deficient in common sense"; "lacking in stamina"; "tested and found wanting" [syn: lacking(p), wanting(p)]

  2. of a quantity not able to fulfill a need or requirement; "insufficient funds" [syn: insufficient] [ant: sufficient]

  3. falling short of some prescribed norm; "substandard housing" [syn: inferior, substandard]


Usage examples of "deficient".

The beach at Vung Tau, once the foundation of our union, has been replaced by a night on Yen Phu Street in Binh Khoi, and no edifice built upon such imperfect stone could be other than cracked and deficient.

The MOSS data provided the base for his personal mixture, the fingerprint ID showing where his brain worked optimally, where it was biochemically deficient.

He could speak fluently of leas, and faughs, and fallows, of change of seed and rotation of crops, but practical knowledge and application were required, and in these Burns was deficient.

She just has a little problem with petit mal seizures induced by neurologically deficient cardiopulmonary oedema.

The means taken with Catharine were those which had been taken since the school began, and special attention was devoted to the branches in which she was most deficient, and which she disliked.

If deficient in strength, the quantity of the charges should be increased until the ranges are equalized, in order that the sight-bars may still indicate the proper elevations for each charge and distance.

With the Compasses and Scale, we can trace all the figures used in the mathematics of planes, or in what are called GEOMETRY and TRIGONOMETRY, two words that are themselves deficient in meaning.

The following laughable production was sold by poor Herbert Stockhore during the last Montem: we hardly think we need apologise for introducing this specimen of his muse: any account of Eton characteristics must have been held deficient without it.

Although I never sat down to open a school of instruction, a man should not despise the humblest teaching, or he may be deficient in many things he should have a knowledge of.

Schenck has seen the left ventricle deficient, and the Ephemerides, Behr, and Kerckring speak of a single ventricle only in the heart.

The more nearly the composition of the external air approaches that of the expired air, the slower will be the diffusion of carbonic acid outwards and of oxygen inwards, and the more charged with carbonic acid and deficient in oxygen will the blood in the lungs become.

In perfect French that broke the heart and made Pierre Perruche, a lifelong Parisian, realize that his own speech was shamefully deficient, the Asian instructed him to go climb a tree.

Therefore, we have reached the inescapable conclusion that fantasy is qualitatively deficient.

Report ultimately attempts to combine its four logically deficient arguments in support of the conclusion that Oswald was present during the assassination at the window from which the shots were fired.

I had taught her last night a few substitutes in the softest tongue I knew for those words of natural tenderness in which her language is signally deficient: taught her to understand them, certainly not to use them, for it was long before I could even induce her to address me by name.