ad·​e·​qua·​cy ˈa-di-kwə-sē How to pronounce adequacy (audio)
plural adequacies
: the quality or state of being adequate

Did you know?

When we question the adequacy of health-care coverage, or parking facilities, or school funding, we're asking if they are equal to our need. The adjective adequate means "enough" or "acceptable"—though in sentences like "His performance was adequate", it really means "no better than acceptable".

Examples of adequacy in a Sentence

the fire department sent someone to determine the adequacy of the building's evacuation plan
Recent Examples on the Web To date, there have been no network adequacy requirements stated or prioritized for lactation support. Andrea Ippolito, STAT, 1 Sep. 2023 Copy editors fall into two camps: prescriptivists, who want to enforce The Rules, and descriptivists, who challenge the adequacy of those rules. John McIntyre, The Christian Science Monitor, 19 June 2023 This would include requirements for capital adequacy, liquidity management, and conduct of business rules. Hilary Tetenbaum, USA TODAY, 17 Aug. 2023 Consequences for Financial Institutions - Banks are also affected by this volatility, with potential implications on their capital adequacy ratios and ability to lend money. Chris Muller, Forbes, 5 May 2023 School funding adequacy refers to the funding necessary to provide students with reasonable opportunities to achieve state standards. Scott McClallen | The Center Square, Washington Examiner, 15 Apr. 2023 The other allegation involves the adequacy of notice Toyota gave debtors about the status of their loans after repossession. Sean P. Murphy,, 1 Feb. 2023 All this comes after many small Chinese lenders have seen their capital adequacy levels plummet over the past half-decade. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, 25 July 2022 The complaint also said Binance had misled investors about the adequacy of its systems to detect and control manipulative trading and about its efforts to restrict U.S. users from trading on its international platform. David Yaffe-Bellany, New York Times, 5 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'adequacy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


adequ(ate) + -acy

First Known Use

1701, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of adequacy was in 1701

Dictionary Entries Near adequacy

Cite this Entry

“Adequacy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


ad·​e·​qua·​cy ˈad-i-kwə-sē How to pronounce adequacy (audio)
plural adequacies
: the quality or state of being adequate

More from Merriam-Webster on adequacy

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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