Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

lacking - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective [never before noun]     lacking pronunciation in American English
  1. if something important or useful is lacking, it does not exist or is not available
    sadly/distinctly/noticeably lacking (=completely lacking):

    Concern for passenger safety has, up until now, been sadly lacking.

    lacking in:

    She seems to be totally lacking in common sense.

    be found lacking (=be unable to do what is necessary or expected):

    If someone needed first aid, would you be found lacking?

Open Dictionary


a rise in the level of a stream or river

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play