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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce shortage (audio)

Dictionary definition of shortage

A situation where the available quantity or supply of something falls below the demand or expected level.
"The drought resulted in a severe water shortage in the region."

Detailed meaning of shortage

It signifies a deficiency or insufficiency in the amount of a particular resource, product, or commodity. Shortages can occur in various contexts, such as food, water, energy, materials, or even labor. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including increased consumption, supply chain disruptions, natural disasters, economic factors, or inadequate production. Shortages often lead to difficulties in meeting needs or fulfilling demands, which can result in higher prices, rationing, or the inability to obtain essential goods or services. The impact of a shortage can be felt on both an individual and societal level, as it affects the overall functioning of an economy or a specific sector. Resolving shortages typically involves efforts to increase production, improve distribution, or implement measures to conserve resources.

Example sentences containing shortage

1. The pandemic caused a shortage of medical supplies, including masks and ventilators.
2. There was a shortage of gasoline during the fuel crisis, causing long lines at the gas stations.
3. The shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry led to delays in completing projects.
4. The shortage of affordable housing left many families homeless.
5. The sudden surge in demand for electronics created a shortage of computer chips.
6. The shortage of ingredients forced the restaurant to remove certain dishes from their menu.

History and etymology of shortage

The word 'shortage' finds its etymological roots in the Old English language, where it was originally spelled as 'sceortage.' The term is composed of two elements: 'sceort,' meaning 'short' or 'not enough,' and 'age,' which denoted a state or condition. Over time, the Old English 'sceortage' evolved into the Middle English 'shortage,' retaining its essential meaning of a state or condition characterized by insufficiency or deficiency. This evolution reflects the concept of a situation where the available quantity or supply of something falls below the demand or expected level, which is central to the modern understanding of the term 'shortage.'

Quiz: Find the meaning of shortage

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Further usage examples of shortage

1. The shortage of teachers resulted in overcrowded classrooms and reduced educational quality.
2. The farmers faced a shortage of fertilizers, impacting their crop yields.
3. The shortage of public transportation options made commuting difficult for many residents.
4. The shortage of available parking spaces caused frustration among drivers.
5. The shortage of available hospital beds strained the healthcare system during the peak of the pandemic.
6. The pandemic caused a severe shortage of medical supplies.
7. A shortage of water in the region led to rationing.
8. The winter storm resulted in a heating fuel shortage.
9. The grocery store had a sudden shortage of fresh produce.
10. The global chip shortage affected the tech industry.
11. A shortage of skilled workers impacted the construction sector.
12. The school faced a shortage of textbooks for the new semester.
13. A shortage of affordable housing is a pressing issue.
14. The drought caused a shortage of crops and livestock feed.
15. The power outage highlighted the city's energy shortage.
16. A shortage of volunteers hampered the charity's efforts.
17. The pandemic created a critical shortage of hospital beds.
18. The shortage of essential medications was alarming.
19. The fuel shortage caused long lines at gas stations.
20. A shortage of classroom space affected education.
21. The restaurant experienced a shortage of staff.
22. The economic downturn resulted in a job shortage.
23. A shortage of public transportation options was inconvenient.
24. The shortage of affordable childcare was a major concern.
25. The shortage of face masks led to creative DIY solutions.



deficiency, surplus, abundance, excess


Suffix -age, TOEFL 6, Burden and Stress, Trials and Tribulations, Absence and Lack

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