Public Services and Procurement Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional Links


Important notice

Good news! We have updated our writing tools. Writing Tips and The Canadian Style have been combined to create a new tool called Writing Tips Plus.

Don’t forget to update your bookmarks. Within a few weeks, Writing Tips will no longer be available.

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

defective, deficient

Although these words are nearly interchangeable, use defective for that which is wanting in quality and deficient for that which is wanting in quantity.

  • Sixteen of the machines were found to be defective and were scrapped.
  • The test showed that the patients were deficient in vitamin C.