If you lack something, you need or want something that's missing. When there's a lack of food, people starve.

There are a lot of things lacking in the world. If you have no video games, then you're lacking them. People who are thirsty and starving lack food and water. Many people lack money and health care. A lack of something is the opposite of an abundance of something. If you have plenty of books, then you don't lack them — though you may lack enough time to read them all.

Definitions of lack
  1. noun
    the state of needing something that is absent or unavailable
    “there is a serious lack of insight into the problem”
    synonyms: deficiency, want
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    the state of being absent
    dearth, famine, shortage
    an acute insufficiency
    a deficiency or failure in neurological or mental functioning
    mineral deficiency
    lack of a mineral micronutrient that is essential for normal nutrition or metabolism
    the condition of being short of something
    stringency, tightness
    a state occasioned by scarcity of money and a shortage of credit
    absence by virtue of not occurring
    the state of being elsewhere than in particular place
    a deficiency of iron; results from inadequate iron in the diet or from hemorrhage
    type of:
    demand, need
    a condition requiring relief
  2. verb
    be without
    “This soup lacks salt”
    synonyms: miss
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    feature, have
    have as a feature
    have, have got, hold
    have or possess, either in a concrete or an abstract sense
    have, own, possess
    have ownership or possession of
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    be without, lack; be deficient in
    lack or fail to include
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