ad·​e·​quate | \ ˈa-di-kwət How to pronounce adequate (audio) \

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

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 Many are helping patients without adequate supplies and equipment. Lauren M. Johnson, CNN, "Nike will donate 30,000 shoes to frontline workers fighting Covid-19," 4 May 2020 President Trump has insisted for weeks that states have had an adequate supply of tests. Caitlin Yilek, Washington Examiner, "Fauci: I’ve been told everyone who 'needs' coronavirus test will be able to get one by June," 28 Apr. 2020 The headlines are nightmarish: women forced to give birth alone, struggling in isolation without adequate postpartum care, or watching dreams of getting pregnant slip further into a future that feels increasingly uncertain. Macaela Mackenzie, Glamour, "‘Planning’ Your Pregnancy Has Never Been More of a Myth," 20 Apr. 2020 Still, health care personnel, stressed to an unimaginable degree, were often forced to work without adequate protection. Michael Greenberg, The New York Review of Books, "Emergency Responder," 16 Apr. 2020 Einhorn––already well-stocked in anticipation of a bad flu season––took early steps to ensure that his customers maintained adequate supplies. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Inside the surreal ‘Mask Economy’: Price-gouging, bidding wars, and armed guards," 14 Apr. 2020 These include consistent declines in new cases, widespread testing and case tracking, adequate supplies of protective gear for health care workers and the use of nonmedical masks by the public. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "When Can We Lift the Coronavirus Pandemic Restrictions? Not Before Taking These Steps," 6 Apr. 2020 Among the victims of those partisan fights was the effort to keep adequate supplies of masks, ventilators, pharmaceuticals and other medical equipment on hand to respond to a public health crisis. Yeganeh Torbati, ProPublica, "How Tea Party Budget Battles Left the National Emergency Medical Stockpile Unprepared for Coronavirus," 3 Apr. 2020 All states should learn from Kerala and Chhattisgarh and suspend biometric authentication for public distribution system benefits, increase the amount of food ration, and ensure adequate supply of hand sanitisers and disinfectants. Anup Agarwal & Yogesh Jain, Quartz India, "India’s coronavirus response needs to address the question of social inequity," 29 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for adequate

Time Traveler

The first known use of adequate was circa 1617

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Statistics for adequate

Last Updated

17 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Adequate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for adequate


How to pronounce adequate (audio)

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 How to pronounce adequate (audio) \

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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