deficit Definition

  • 1the amount by which something, especially a sum of money, is too small
  • 2a lack or shortage

Using deficit: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "deficit" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The company is facing a budget deficit this year.

  • Example

    The trade deficit has widened to $50 billion.

  • Example

    There is a deficit of skilled workers in the industry.

  • Example

    The team overcame a 10-point deficit to win the game.

deficit Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms for deficit

Idioms Using deficit

  • make up for lost time/deficit

    to work harder or faster than usual in order to compensate for time or opportunities that have been lost


    After being sick for a week, she had to make up for lost time at work.

  • in the red (or black) (financially)

    to be in debt (or not in debt)


    The company has been in the red for the past two years.

  • robbing Peter to pay Paul

    to take from one source in order to pay another


    He's been robbing Peter to pay Paul, borrowing money from one credit card to pay off another.

Phrases with deficit

  • a situation where the government spends more money than it receives in revenue


    The country's budget deficit has been increasing for the past few years.

  • a situation where a country imports more goods and services than it exports


    The trade deficit between the two countries has been a point of contention in recent years.

  • a condition characterized by difficulty in concentrating on a task for an extended period of time


    Children with attention deficit disorder often struggle in school.

Origins of deficit

from Latin 'deficit', meaning 'it is lacking'


Summary: deficit in Brief

The term 'deficit' [def-uh-sit] refers to a lack or shortage of something, often a sum of money. It can also denote a shortfall in skills or resources, as in 'There is a deficit of skilled workers in the industry.' 'Deficit' extends into phrases like 'budget deficit,' and idioms like 'make up for lost time/deficit,' implying compensating for lost opportunities, and 'robbing Peter to pay Paul,' indicating taking from one source to pay another.

How do native speakers use this expression?