Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary




Synonyms and Antonyms of inadequacy

  1. 1 a falling short of an essential or desirable amount or number <the inadequacy of our servings was soon apparent, as hungry guests started clamoring for seconds> Synonyms crunch, dearth, deficit, drought (also drouth), failure, famine, deficiency, inadequateness, insufficiency, lack, lacuna, paucity, pinch, poverty, scantiness, scarceness, scarcity, shortage, undersupply, wantRelated Words absence, omission; meagerness, poorness, skimpiness; necessity, need, privationNear Antonyms bountifulness, copiousness; excess, overabundance, oversupply, surfeit, surplusAntonyms abundance, adequacy, amplitude, opulence, plenitude, plenty, sufficiency, wealth

  2. 2 the lack of sufficient ability, power, or means <tried to blame others in order to hide the inadequacy of his leadership> Synonyms impotence, inability, incapability, incapacity, incompetence, incompetency, ineptitude, insufficiency, powerlessnessRelated Words disqualification, inaptitude; ineffectiveness, ineffectuality, ineffectualness, inefficaciousness, inefficacy, inefficiencyNear Antonyms aptitude, bent, endowment, flair, genius, gift, knack, talent; effectiveness, effectualness, efficaciousness, efficiency; fitness, suitability, suitableness; potency, power, puissance, sinew, strengthAntonyms ability, adequacy, capability, capacity, competence, competency, potency

Learn More about inadequacy

Seen and Heard

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


a sculptured or ornamented band

Get Word of the Day daily email!