ad·​e·​qua·​cy | \ ˈa-di-kwə-sē How to pronounce adequacy (audio) \
plural adequacies

Definition of adequacy

: the quality or state of being adequate

Keep scrolling for more

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 SolarWinds declined to address questions about the adequacy of its security. New York Times, "As Understanding of Russian Hacking Grows, So Does Alarm," 2 Jan. 2021 The fact that the department charged with safeguarding the country from physical and cyber attacks was victimized underscores the campaign’s significance and calls into question the adequacy of federal cybersecurity efforts. Author: Ellen Nakashima, Craig Timberg, Anchorage Daily News, "Homeland Security, State Department join list of federal agencies - now 5 - hacked in major Russian campaign," 15 Dec. 2020 In many markets across the U.S., insurance companies have no choice but to contract with dominant health systems—at above-market rates—to offer health plans that meet network adequacy requirements demanded by regulators and employers. WSJ, "The GOP Needs to Have a Health-Care Plan," 6 Dec. 2020 The deal includes a temporary solution to keep data flowing between the EU and U.K. until the bloc has adopted a data adequacy decision. Fortune, "The key terms of the Brexit trade deal: Everything you need to know," 25 Dec. 2020 Already, the president-elect and his top pandemic advisers are showing wariness about the adequacy of distribution procedures. Amy Goldstein, Anchorage Daily News, "Biden will arrive in office amid a pandemic. It will be his biggest challenge — but also an opportunity.," 16 Dec. 2020 But that report was focused on the issue of capacity alone, and didn’t take educational adequacy and equity into account. Taylor Deville,, "Some advocates for a new Towson High School reject recommended renovation in lieu of replacing the school," 13 Nov. 2020 The banking regulator predicts that the capital adequacy ratio for lenders could fall to 11.8% next March -- close to the minimum regulatory threshold of 9% -- down from 14.6% in March 2020. Debjit Chakraborty,, "India’s Finance Minister to Review Loan Revamp Plan With Lenders," 29 Aug. 2020 Biden’s campaign is very much rooted in his OK-ness, his adequacy. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "Joe Biden Is Very Offline—and That’s OK," 19 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adequacy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of adequacy

1701, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for adequacy

adequ(ate) + -acy

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about adequacy

Time Traveler for adequacy

Time Traveler

The first known use of adequacy was in 1701

See more words from the same year

Statistics for adequacy

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Adequacy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on adequacy

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!