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

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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 The district is $5,961 per student below the state’s own benchmark for funding adequacy. Peter Greene, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 Meanwhile, the question of how the SEC will determine the adequacy of climate disclosure is an interesting one. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 21 Nov. 2021 Democrats voiced concerns about the volatility of digital assets, the adequacy of consumer protections and the potential for terrorist and criminal abuses. Washington Post, 7 Dec. 2021 Recognizes the importance of the adequacy and predictability of adaptation finance, including the value of the Adaptation Fund in delivering dedicated support for adaptation; 13. CNN, 12 Nov. 2021 This level of adequacy would substantially remove moral hazard regarding climate risk. Frank Van Gansbeke, Forbes, 4 Nov. 2021 Local authorities are investigating the crowd surge, the adequacy of security efforts along with scenarios including the potential role of counterfeit pills possibly laced with fentanyl. Neil Shah, WSJ, 10 Nov. 2021 Mere adequacy throughout the remainder of the roster would likely have gotten them to the postseason, and the Braves’ fairy tale wouldn’t have come to fruition. Tony Blengino, Forbes, 4 Nov. 2021 In terms of the adequacy of existing energy infrastructure, the report states that part of the shortage of natural gas -- used for gas and some electric power -- was largely related to production facility problems outside the state. Ashton Eley, Arkansas Online, 7 Nov. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of adequacy

1701, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for adequacy

adequ(ate) + -acy

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Time Traveler for adequacy

Time Traveler

The first known use of adequacy was in 1701

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Last Updated

15 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Adequacy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on adequacy

Nglish: Translation of adequacy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adequacy for Arabic Speakers


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