ad·e·quate | \ ˈa-di-kwət \

Definition of adequate 

1 : sufficient for a specific need or requirement adequate time an amount of money adequate to supply their needs also : good enough : of a quality that is good or acceptable a machine that does an adequate job : of a quality that is acceptable but not better than acceptable Her first performance was merely adequate.

2 : lawfully and reasonably sufficient adequate grounds for a lawsuit

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Other words from adequate

adequately adverb
adequateness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for adequate

sufficient, enough, adequate, competent mean being what is necessary or desirable. sufficient suggests a close meeting of a need. sufficient savings enough is less exact in suggestion than sufficient. do you have enough food? adequate may imply barely meeting a requirement. the service was adequate competent suggests measuring up to all requirements without question or being adequately adapted to an end. had no competent notion of what was going on

Examples of adequate in a Sentence

Then, during the spring and summer, allow adequate recovery by taking one or two days off the bike each week and scaling back the intensity of your rides one week out of every month. —Selene Yeager, Bicycling, January/February 2008 … they are adequate for almost any computing need. —Michael Meyer, Newsweek, 26 Oct. 1998 … the government would have to bail out any bidder with less adequate resources … The Economist, 30 Aug.-5 Sept. 1986 The garden hasn't been getting adequate water. The food was more than adequate for the six of us. The school lunch should be adequate to meet the nutritional needs of growing children. The machine does an adequate job. The tent should provide adequate protection from the elements. The quality of his work was perfectly adequate. Your grades are adequate but I think you can do better. The quality of his work was only adequate.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Keith believed that adequate food was a basic human right., "Keith and Audrey Dubay," 12 July 2018 Preventing access to adequate food, basic health care and legal advice about their rights is completely unacceptable. Fox News, "Red Cross network urges end to mistreatment of migrants," 10 July 2018 The suit cites design defects and that the companies failed to provide necessary and adequate information and made misrepresentations about their products. Mark Gokavi, ajc, "Dad of late ex-Ohio high school football player sues helmet makers," 2 June 2018 They are accused of failing to provide their daughter, Ruth Ringer, with adequate food or drink. Marisa Kwiatkowski, Indianapolis Star, "Indy couple charged in death of malnourished 2-month-old daughter," 24 May 2018 Many parents, even those who work two or three jobs, go without adequate food, clothing and health care. Kia Gregory, The Root, "Philadelphia’s Housing Authority Bought a High School: What Does That Mean for One of the City’s Poorest Neighborhoods?," 2 May 2018 Hundreds of panicked residents jammed shelters lacking adequate food, water and heat. Andrew Jeong, WSJ, "South Korea Lacks Shelters, Equipment Needed in a Nuclear Attack," 2 Apr. 2018 Power just 'adequate' A 152-horsepower, 2-liter four-cylinder engine and all-wheel-drive are standard on all Crosstreks. USA TODAY, "Review: Subaru's new Crosstrek becomes the small SUV to beat," 16 Mar. 2018 Practically, finding adequate translation services for indigenous families is often difficult and leaves them with few avenues to access social services or interact in family court, often represented by someone who doesn’t speak the same language. Rory Taylor, Teen Vogue, "The Current Border Crisis Feels All Too Familiar for Indigenous Peoples in the United States," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adequate.' 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 adequate

circa 1617, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for adequate

borrowed from Latin adaequātus, past participle of adaequāre "to equalize, put on an equal footing," from ad- ad- + aequāre "to make level, equalize" — more at equate

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Statistics for adequate

Last Updated

7 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for adequate

The first known use of adequate was circa 1617

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More Definitions for adequate



English Language Learners Definition of adequate

: enough for some need or requirement

: good enough : of a quality that is good or acceptable : of a quality that is acceptable but not better than acceptable


ad·e·quate | \ ˈa-di-kwət \

Kids Definition of adequate

1 : enough entry 1 Be sure you have adequate time to get ready.

2 : good enough The lunch provides adequate nutrition.

Other words from adequate

adequately adverb



Legal Definition of adequate 

: lawfully and reasonably sufficient adequate grounds for a lawsuit

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More from Merriam-Webster on adequate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for adequate

Spanish Central: Translation of adequate

Nglish: Translation of adequate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adequate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on adequate

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


the setting in which something occurs

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