Definition of deficit in English:


See synonyms for deficit

Translate deficit into Spanish


  • 1The amount by which something, especially a sum of money, is too small.

    ‘The fund will absorb the deficit in the Rover pension scheme, which officially stands at £67.6m.’
    • ‘The pension scheme, which had a deficit amounting to some £80m, was part of this restructuring.’
    • ‘The company doubled its input last year to £225m, but the deficit in its fund rose by roughly the same amount.’
    • ‘Just 12% of the vice chancellors said they thought top-up fees would meet the funding deficit.’
    • ‘The value for the General Fund deficit is based on deficits equal to 5% of GDP.’
    • ‘It's nice to know that in an age of 500 billion dollar deficits, this is what our elected leaders are wasting their time on.’
    • ‘While this may simply be a blip, if people are seriously divesting from the country because they don't want to be exposed to a trillion dollar deficit, it spells big trouble.’
    • ‘"We are facing a projected budget deficit for the next year of £300,000.’
    • ‘One of them is designed to reduce the federal budget deficit by almost $40 billion over five years.’
    • ‘They turned a five points deficit into a six points lead in 20 minutes.’
    • ‘The Friary boys had turned a two point deficit into an eight point lead in ten devastating minutes.’
    • ‘The state's deficit for the coming fiscal year was expected to be $20 billion before today's announcement.’
    • ‘The US's balance of payments deficit rose to 4.5 percent of national income.’
    • ‘For next year, the government is targeting a lower deficit of 1 percent of GDP.’
    • ‘They had turned a five-point deficit into a one-point lead inside six minutes.’
    • ‘He promises to cut the nearly $500 billion deficit in half in four years.’
    • ‘Last year that deficit soared to a new record of $162 billion.’
    shortfall, deficiency, shortage, undersupply, slippage
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1An excess of expenditure or liabilities over income or assets in a given period.
      ‘an annual operating deficit’
      • ‘the budget will remain in deficit’
      • ‘Smurfit was in deficit at its last year-end, so its position is likely to have got a lot worse.’
      • ‘Wartime was a period of massive fiscal deficits and huge current account surpluses.’
      • ‘For several countries, reducing their annual budget deficits to below 3% of gross domestic product will be the first big hurdle.’
      • ‘The European Union controls budget deficits, exchange rates and interest rates.’
      • ‘When a current account is in deficit, it usually means that a country is investing more abroad than it is saving at home.’
      • ‘The cure, it is said, must come from increased public expenditures that are financed by government budget deficits along with the increases of money supply and credit expansion.’
      • ‘Artificially stimulating the economy by large budget deficits and/or inflationary monetary policy is no viable option.’
      • ‘In order to avoid colossal budget deficits, many economists say, the U.S. will need to slash benefits, raise taxes, or both.’
      • ‘There are two ways that government budget deficits impact the economy: inflation and higher interest rates.’
      • ‘In a dollarized monetary system, the national government cannot devalue the currency or finance budget deficits by creating inflation because it does not issue the currency.’
      • ‘Our tests suggest that, on average, Canadian investors regard pension deficits as liabilities of the sponsoring firm, but do not regard surpluses as assets of the firm.’
      • ‘The government budget is now significantly in deficit, so the fiscal card has largely been played.’
      • ‘It is common for a company to trade when its shareholders' funds as shown in the balance sheet are in deficit.’
      • ‘The twin budget and current-account deficits are soaring.’
      • ‘Budget deficits must be financed, which implies that the stock of government financial liabilities is rising over time.’
      • ‘We have trade balance deficits and budget deficits, and huge input ratios of the future technologies.’
      • ‘The methods used by countries of the region to finance their budget deficits were generally inflationary.’
      • ‘The measures follow the government's recent cuts in public spending and a spate of redundancies as it has sought to slash budget deficits for 2001 in excess of European Union limits.’
      • ‘Unions and pension bodies have been particularly concerned about the plight of workers whose firms close with the pension scheme in deficit.’
      • ‘The budget deficit is the shortfall between the government's income, such as tax revenues, and its level of spending.’
    2. 1.2(in sports) the amount or score by which a team or individual is losing.
      ‘came back from a 3–0 deficit’
      • ‘Boys Club still had fight in them and Nicky Pearson scored to cut the deficit to one goal again but despite plenty of pressure they could not force extra time.’
      • ‘That didn't work as the team dug itself into a double-digit deficit in the division.’
      • ‘Now back within two, Croatia made the most of its next power play to cut the deficit to one on a score by Samir Barac.’
      • ‘Four of those comebacks were from deficits of five or more runs; the team never overcame such a deficit from 2001-03.’
      • ‘He trailed 10-5 in the decider but reduced the deficit to one point, only for Shon to produce a late surge to clinch the match.’
      • ‘Had he scored, the deficit would have been back to two points.’
      • ‘The win was in dramatic fashion as the Clan overcame a deficit and scored 21 fourth-quarter points.’
      • ‘Paul Tomlinson, Stevie Attinson and Darren Fox scored to reduce the deficit to 9-3.’
      • ‘However in their true style Tullow fought back and Tom Kealy scored to reduce the deficit to just one.’
      • ‘They often start too slowly, having to erase double-digit deficits.’
      • ‘They have come back from deficits of 13 or more six times this season.’
      • ‘They wiped out an eight-point deficit from the away leg to win 97-85 overall and take the aggregate bonus point.’
      • ‘A penalty goal by Harrison reduced the deficit to 6 points and it would have been a brave bet on the winner at this stage.’
      • ‘Federer hasn't lost to Hewitt since a 2003 Davis Cup tie where the Australian came back from a two-set deficit.’
      • ‘Milan Baros Inspired the Czech Republic to come back from a two-goal deficit in a display that will stick in the memory for a magical equalising goal.’
      • ‘Then they returned the compliment by charging down a goal line clearance to reduce the deficit to 31-21.’
      • ‘Garrymore had just fought back from a four point deficit to level the scores at 0-8 each.’
      • ‘Phil Howell reduced the deficit to a single point with a well struck penalty but Doncaster clinched it with a converted try.’
      • ‘Before that Hogan had reduced the deficit to a point after the Dalesmen had been penalised for crossing.’
    3. 1.3 technical A deficiency or failing, especially in a neurological or psychological function.
      ‘ deficits in speech comprehension’
      • ‘Moffitt suggested these difficulties were linked to neurological deficits in verbal regulation of behaviour and in executive functioning.’
      • ‘Both in utero exposures to maternal smoking and asthma are associated with chronic deficits in lung function.’
      • ‘It is possible that the deficits in lung function in persistent and transient wheezers may have already been present at a much younger age.’
      • ‘The nurse notifies the surgeon if the patient exhibits neurological deficits, bleeding, or impaired respiratory function or is in acute distress.’
      • ‘Patients who survive their strokes without massive neurological deficits always show significant functional improvement.’



/ˈdefəsət/ /ˈdɛfəsət/


Late 18th century via French from Latin deficit ‘it is lacking’, from the verb deficere (see defect).