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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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 Pharmacy benefit managers licensed by the department will face requirements around transparency, network adequacy and ownership interest. Dana Ferguson, Twin Cities, "New year, new laws; what changes in Minnesota on Jan. 1," 31 Dec. 2019 That study led to creation of the education committees' biennial adequacy review that's used by the General Assembly and governor to make education spending recommendations. Hunter Field, Arkansas Online, "Study on Arkansas schools' funding now a go; legislators OK $659,580 contract," 21 Dec. 2019 Lenders’ reporting of metrics including capital adequacy have shown worrying signs of fragility recently. Washington Post, "Climate-Friendly Banking Might Be a Risky Thing," 4 Dec. 2019 It's cited by the Congressional Budget Office as the most commonly used measure of retirement adequacy. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Being older and single is a financial struggle for many Americans," 21 Nov. 2019 After The Courant asked the state Department of Transportation about the adequacy of the improvements connected with the CTfastrak station, the DOT sent to traffic engineers to the neighborhood. Kenneth R. Gosselin,, "Reviving Parkville: to transform a Hartford neighborhood into a modern, walkable urban center you’ve got to deal with all the cars," 14 Nov. 2019 More than 20% of customers said they were dissatisfied with the timeliness of Tesla's repairs, and a similar number were unsatisfied with repair adequacy. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Customers rave about Model 3 in new Bloomberg survey," 5 Nov. 2019 The decline raises major questions about the adequacy of federal and state officials’ efforts to protect the imperiled birds, the WWP said. Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, "Gunnison sage grouse population numbers decline to alarming low, nonprofit says," 24 Oct. 2019 Chief Judge Edward Cleary asked Katchen and Polymet attorney Jay Johnson a series of pointed questions about the adequacy of the financial assurances package that’s currently part of the permit to mine, and about the dam. Steve Karnowski, Twin Cities, "PolyMet opponents ask appeals court to overturn mine permits," 23 Oct. 2019

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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Statistics for adequacy

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Adequacy.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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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).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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