lack

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See also: Lack and läck

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /lak/
  • (US) IPA(key): /læk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æk

Etymology 1[edit]

Middle English, cognate with or from Middle Low German lak, Middle Dutch lac (deficiency) and Middle Dutch laken (blame, lack); all ultimately from Proto-Germanic *laka-, related to *lak(k)ōn- (to blame, reproach), from Proto-Indo-European *lok-néh₂-. See also Dutch lak (calumny), Old Norse lakr (lacking).

Noun[edit]

lack (countable and uncountable, plural lacks)

  1. A deficiency or need (of something desirable or necessary); an absence, want.
    Antonyms: glut, surplus
    • c. 1596–1598, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene i]:
      [] let his lack of years be no impediment to let him lack a reverend estimation;
    • 1994, Green Day (lyrics and music), “Basket Case”:
      I went to a shrink, to analyze my dreams. He said it's lack of sex that's bringing me down.
    • 2012 September 7, Phil McNulty, “Moldova 0-5 England”, in BBC Sport:
      If Moldova harboured even the slightest hopes of pulling off a comeback that would have bordered on miraculous given their lack of quality, they were snuffed out 13 minutes before the break when Oxlade-Chamberlain picked his way through midfield before releasing Defoe for a finish that should have been dealt with more convincingly by Namasco at his near post.
    • 2022 January 12, Tom Allett, “Network News: MPs concerned at Treasury's influence on rail industry”, in RAIL, number 948, page 13:
      More flak was aimed at the Treasury's apparent lack of marketing skills, when it was argued that its idea of how to sell tickets was along the lines of "you can get two tickets for the price of two", and it lacks the sales and promotional skills of the train operating companies which are needed to boost revenue.
  2. (obsolete) A defect or failing; moral or spiritual degeneracy.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

lack (third-person singular simple present lacks, present participle lacking, simple past and past participle lacked)

  1. (transitive) To be without, to need, to require.
    My life lacks excitement.
    • 2022 January 12, Tom Allett, “Network News: MPs concerned at Treasury's influence on rail industry”, in RAIL, number 948, page 13:
      More flak was aimed at the Treasury's apparent lack of marketing skills, when it was argued that its idea of how to sell tickets was along the lines of "you can get two tickets for the price of two", and it lacks the sales and promotional skills of the train operating companies which are needed to boost revenue.
  2. (intransitive) To be short (of or for something).
    He'll never lack for company while he's got all that money.
  3. (intransitive, obsolete) To be in want.
  4. (obsolete) To see the deficiency in (someone or something); to find fault with, to malign, reproach.
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Noun[edit]

lack (plural lacks)

  1. Archaic form of lakh.
    a lack of rupees

Further reading[edit]

  • Kroonen, Guus (2013), “lak(k)on-”, in Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 11), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 325

Anagrams[edit]


German[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

lack

  1. imperative singular of lacken
  2. (colloquial) first-person singular present of lacken

Swedish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French lacre (sealing wax), from Portuguese laca.

Noun[edit]

lack n

  1. lacquer

Declension[edit]

Declension of lack 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative lack lacket lacker lackerna
Genitive lacks lackets lackers lackernas

Related terms[edit]