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adjective suf·fi·cient \sə-ˈfi-shənt\

Simple Definition of sufficient

  • : having or providing as much as is needed

Full Definition of sufficient

  1. 1a :  enough to meet the needs of a situation or a proposed end <sufficient provisions for a month>b :  being a sufficient condition

  2. 2 archaic :  qualified, competent

suf·fi·cient·ly adverb

Examples of sufficient

  1. Considering that John Adams was notoriously insecure about his own place in history, he surely would have enjoyed his current renown. He and Abigail get pride of place in the family crypt, down a winding staircase in the church basement. On her plaque in the crypt, she is described as a “model of domestic worth,” as though she were a particularly charming chifforobe, and not a woman who survived a troubled marriage with sufficient courage that both houses of Congress adjourned upon hearing of her death. —Charles P. Pierce, Boston Globe Magazine, 26 July 2009

  2. Because canines are, for the most part, unable to naturally manufacture sufficient vitamins to meet their daily requirements, a dog's routinely consumed meals, with some exceptions, must be augmented with them during the manufacturing process. —Tom Ewing, Dog Watch, February 2009

  3. And since this policy is usually accompanied by a pledge to provide sufficient scholarship funds to admitted applicants who cannot afford the full cost (around $45,000 in the Ivy League today), it is an expensive policy. —Andrew Delbanco, New York Review of Books, 29 Mar. 2007

  4. The result was a magnificent example of evidence overkill—the first set of prints alone was sufficient to match the gangbanger to a set in the national Automated Fingerprint Identification System database. —Jessica Snyder Sachs, Popular Science, March 2004

  5. A brisk walk is sufficient to raise your heart rate.

  6. There must be sufficient funds in your bank account to cover the check.

  7. Her explanation was not sufficient to satisfy the police.

Origin of sufficient

Middle English, from Latin sufficient-, sufficiens, from present participle of sufficere (see suffice)

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of sufficient

sufficient, enough, adequate, competent mean being what is necessary or desirable. sufficient suggests a close meeting of a need <sufficient savings>. enough is less exact in suggestion than sufficient <do you have enough food?>. adequate may imply barely meeting a requirement <the service was adequate>. competent suggests measuring up to all requirements without question or being adequately adapted to an end <had no competent notion of what was going on>.

Rhymes with sufficient

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up sufficient? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

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