If you're running a deficit, you are losing. You might be losing money or losing a game. Either way, you better make up for it.

When the government runs on a deficit, often the loss can be offset by a raise in taxes. If you have a deficit of iron in your body, you should consider eating more spinach. The word deficit comes from the Latin deficit meaning "it is wanting." A deficit is characterized by the wanting of something missing.

Definitions of deficit

n the property of being an amount by which something is less than expected or required

“new blood vessels bud out from the already dilated vascular bed to make up the nutritional deficit
shortage, shortfall
oxygen deficit
temporary oxygen shortage in cells resulting from strenuous exercise
Type of:
deficiency, inadequacy, insufficiency
lack of an adequate quantity or number

n an excess of liabilities over assets (usually over a certain period)

“last year there was a serious budgetary deficit
budget deficit
an excess of expenditures over revenues
trade deficit
an excess of imports over exports
federal deficit
an excess of the federal government's spending over its revenue
Type of:
anything that is owed to someone else

n a deficiency or failure in neurological or mental functioning

“the people concerned have a deficit in verbal memory”
“they have serious linguistic deficits
Type of:
deficiency, lack, want
the state of needing something that is absent or unavailable

n (sports) the score by which a team or individual is losing

(sports) the score by which a team or individual is winning
Type of:
a number that expresses the accomplishment of a team or an individual in a game or contest

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