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Writing Tips has been archived and won’t be updated before it is permanently deleted.

For the most up-to-date content, please consult Writing Tips Plus, which combines content from Writing Tips and The Canadian Style. And don’t forget to update your bookmarks!

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.