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
  1. noun
    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
    synonyms: shortage, shortfall
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    oxygen deficit
    temporary oxygen shortage in cells resulting from strenuous exercise
    type of:
    deficiency, inadequacy, insufficiency
    lack of an adequate quantity or number
  2. noun
    an excess of liabilities over assets (usually over a certain period)
    “last year there was a serious budgetary deficit
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    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
  3. noun
    a deficiency or failure in neurological or mental functioning
    “the people concerned have a deficit in verbal memory”
    “they have serious linguistic deficits
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    type of:
    deficiency, lack, want
    the state of needing something that is absent or unavailable
  4. noun
    (sports) the score by which a team or individual is losing
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    (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
Word Family

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