Meaning of “lack” in the English Dictionary

"lack" in British English

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lacknoun

uk /læk/ us /læk/
lack of sth

More examples

  • His answer demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of the question.
  • One disadvantage of living in the town is the lack of safe places for the children to play.
  • Hospitals are being forced to close departments because of lack of money.
  • There is a lack of reasonably priced housing for rent.
  • The local residents were angry at the lack of parking spaces.

B1 the fact that something is not available or that there is not enough of it:

Her only problem is a lack of confidence.
Lack of sleep had made him irritable.
If he fails it won't be for/through lack of effort (= he has certainly tried).
We won't be going away this year - lack of funds, I'm afraid.

lackverb [ T ]

uk /læk/ us /læk/

B2 to not have or not have enough of something that is needed or wanted:

He just lacks a little confidence.
What we lack in this house is space to store things.
We are lacking three members of staff due to illness.

More examples

  • They've won a few matches this season but they lack consistency.
  • They lack basic foodstuffs, such as bread and milk.
  • He lacks the necessary skills for the job.
  • The town lacks leisure facilities such as a swimming pool or squash courts.
  • Joshua clearly has ability in this subject but he lacks application.

(Definition of “lack” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"lack" in American English

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lacknoun [ U ]

us /læk/

a condition of not having any or enough of something, esp. something necessary or wanted:

a lack of money
She certainly has no lack of friends (= She has a lot of friends).

lackverb [ T ]

us /læk/

to not have any or enough of something, esp. something necessary or wanted:

What we lack in this house is space to store things.
He’s totally lacking a sense of humor.

(Definition of “lack” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"lack" in Business English

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lacknoun [ S or U ]

uk /læk/ us

a situation in which there is not enough of something, or something is not available:

serious/severe lack of sth Many of these communities are having to cope with a severe lack of resources.
"Lack of time" is frequently cited as the reason for poor-quality work.

lackverb [ T ]

uk /læk/ us

to not have enough of something that is necessary:

Most of the candidates had the right qualifications but lacked the necessary skills.

(Definition of “lack” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)