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 Some say at least several days ahead of traveling may be adequate, while others have suggested 14 days for maximum safety. Allyson Chiu, Washington Post, "Thanksgiving 2020: How to celebrate safely and smoothly," 19 Nov. 2020 The capacity to sort and process these votes, however, wasn’t always adequate. Star Tribune, "Worst voting fears weren't realized, but system needs fixes," 16 Nov. 2020 Amending the soil once a year should be adequate for your garden. Tim Johnson,, "How to winterize your vegetable garden for a thriving crop next year," 15 Nov. 2020 The positivity rate shows whether the level of testing being performed is adequate. Arkansas Online, "Coronavirus in Arkansas glossary: key terms defined," 12 Nov. 2020 Evan Mulholland, a lawyer for the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, countered that the courts have the authority to remand when an agency's findings aren't adequate. Jennifer Bjorhus, Star Tribune, "Minnesota Supreme Court hears argument that PolyMet misrepresented its intent for mine," 5 Nov. 2020 Third, methods of monitoring and estimating exposures to air toxins are not adequate for characterizing risks to human health, especially for vulnerable populations. Michael Petroni, The Conversation, "Studies link COVID-19 deaths to air pollution, raising questions about EPA’s ‘acceptable risk’," 30 Oct. 2020 The district’s distribution of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies to teachers has been haphazard, the grievance states, asking that the equipment for every employee be adequate. Andres Picon,, "North East ISD teachers union files grievance against district for ‘unsafe conditions’," 28 Oct. 2020 Dig each hole to a depth recognized in your area as being adequate for the frost line. Merle Henkenius, Popular Mechanics, "How To Make Your Own Picket Fence," 23 Oct. 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

23 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Adequate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 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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