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 Still, that’s near the number advocates say is adequate given the lack of affordable housing and treatment for addiction and mental health needs. oregonlive, "Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s tepid campaign, rocky term led to runoff, experts say," 28 May 2020 Amping up virtual learning, for example, means ensuring all students and staff have adequate technology and internet access, which proved difficult, even on a smaller scale, as MPS moved to online learning this spring. Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What will school look like in the fall? MPS explores possible options," 28 May 2020 Unconscious Neck Restraint: The subject is placed in a neck restraint with the intention of rendering the person unconscious by applying adequate pressure. Jordan Culver, USA TODAY, "What we know about the death of George Floyd: 4 Minneapolis police officers fired after 'horrifying' video hits social media," 27 May 2020 The state’s health department has flipped the burden to the party, asking the GOP to provide a convention plan that provides for adequate social distancing. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "North Carolina Republicans’ long, stormy summer," 27 May 2020 Geekdom members also only will be allowed to use the space from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays so custodians have adequate time to sanitize the office. Diego Mendoza-moyers,, "Geekdom, other co-working spaces reopening," 27 May 2020 Make sure your outdoor bar has adequate storage to limit the number of trips needed to haul supplies outside. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "7 Creative Outdoor Kitchen Bar Ideas to Try Now," 26 May 2020 That modest output doesn't make for much grunt on the highway, but the engine is surprisingly quiet and smooth and short gearing gives it adequate punch around town. Jens Meiners, Car and Driver, "2020 Suzuki Jimny Is an Adorable and Tiny Off-Road Box that We Can't Buy," 26 May 2020 The appeals court said Bahakel didn't give adequate weight to mitigating circumstances in the case. Carol Robinson |, al, "SCOTUS declines to review case of Birmingham man on Death Row for two murders," 26 May 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

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Adequate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 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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