Etymology
Advertisement
deficiency (n.)

1630s, "state of falling short, a lack or failing;" 1660s, "that in which a person or thing is deficient, inadequacy," from Late Latin deficientia, from deficient-, present-participle stem of deficere "to desert, revolt, fail," from de "down, away" (see de-) + combining form of facere "to do, make" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). The older English word, now rare or obsolete, was deficience (mid-15c.).

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
disease (n.)

early 14c., "discomfort, inconvenience, distress, trouble," from Old French desaise "lack, want; discomfort, distress; trouble, misfortune; disease, sickness," from des- "without, away" (see dis-) + aise "ease" (see ease (n.)). Restricted pathological sense of "sickness, illness" in English emerged by late 14c.; the word still sometimes was used in its literal sense early 17c., and was somewhat revived 20c., usually with a hyphen (dis-ease).

Related entries & more 
disease (v.)

mid-14c., disesen, "to make uneasy, trouble; inflict pain," a sense now obsolete; late 14c. as "to have an illness or infection;" late 15c. in the transitive sense of "to infect with a disease, make ill;" from disease (n.). Tyndale (1526) has Thy doughter is deed, disease not the master where KJV has trouble not (Luke viii.49).

Related entries & more 
rickets (n.)

disease caused by vitamin D deficiency, 1630s, of uncertain origin (see note in OED). Originally a local name for the disease in Dorset and Somerset, England. Some derive it from a Dorset word, rucket "to breathe with difficulty," but the sense connection is difficult. The Modern Latin name for the disease, rachitis, comes from Greek rhakhis "spine" (see rachitic), but this was chosen by English physician Daniel Whistler (1619-1684) for resemblance to rickets.

Related entries & more 
fail (n.)

late 13c., "failure, deficiency" (as in without fail), from Old French faile "deficiency," from falir (see fail (v.)). The Anglo-French form of the verb, failer, also came to be used as a noun, hence failure.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
pellagra (n.)

chronic disease caused by dietary deficiency (formerly blamed on diseased grain) and characterized by dry, red skin, 1811, from Italian (1770s); according to Watkins, a hybrid formed from Latin pellis "skin" (from PIE root *pel- (3) "skin, hide") + Greek agra "a catching, seizure," related to agrein "to take, seize." But OED suggests it might be originally Italian pelle agra "rough skin." Related: Pellagrous.

Related entries & more 
acquired (adj.)

c. 1600, "gained by effort," past-participle adjective from acquire. Of diseases, "occurring after birth, thus not dependent on heredity," 1842 (opposed to congenital); acquired immune deficiency is attested by 1980; acquired immune deficiency syndrome by 1982. Acquired taste is attested from 1734.

Related entries & more 
oligotrophy (n.)

"deficiency of nutrition," by 1895, from oligo- "small, little" + -trophy "food, nourishment." Related: Oligotrophic.

Related entries & more 
shortage (n.)

"deficiency, the amount by which anything is short," 1862, American English, from short + -age.

Related entries & more