in·​ad·​e·​qua·​cy | \ (ˌ)i-ˈna-di-kwə-sē How to pronounce inadequacy (audio) \
plural inadequacies

Definition of inadequacy

1 : the quality or state of being inadequate

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Examples of inadequacy in a Sentence

the inadequacy of our servings was soon apparent, as hungry guests started clamoring for seconds tried to blame others in order to hide the inadequacy of his leadership
Recent Examples on the Web Feelings of inadequacy intensify in isolation, so fostering relationships with other parents, on the phone or online, is crucial. Washington Post, "The pandemic is taking a toll on parents, and it’s showing in alcohol consumption rates," 9 Nov. 2020 In many ways the least gifted of the Kennedys’ four sons, Eddie grew up gut-sure of his inadequacy compared to Joe Jr., John and Robert. Edward Kosner, WSJ, "‘Catching the Wind’ Review: The Liberal Lion in Full," 23 Oct. 2020 There is widespread agreement, however, that the pandemic has exposed the inadequacy in many countries, such as Britain, of care provision for the elderly. The Economist, "The week in charts Follow which science?," 23 Oct. 2020 Feelings of the inadequacy of learning through a computer screen because resources are less than those available when youngsters are in the buildings led to a demonstration Sept. 14 in Barrington, and another Sept. 29 in Libertyville. Steve Sadin,, "Lake County students, parents have variety of opinions about return to face-to-face learning, continuing online classes," 5 Oct. 2020 The inadequacy of such a strategy became evident long ago, as many members of Trump’s inner circle—including his national-security adviser, his son’s girlfriend, and the Vice-President’s press secretary—were infected. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, "After Trump’s Coronavirus Diagnosis, What’s His Medical Outlook?," 2 Oct. 2020 But Kapai pointed out that the RDO has only been used in court a handful of times as evidence of its inadequacy. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Spat at, segregated, policed: Hong Kong's dark-skinned minorities say they've never felt accepted," 21 Aug. 2020 This suggests the dollar size of the issue for Texas but is not an indication of the level of funding inadequacy. Scott Burns, Dallas News, "Scott Burns: Ranking Texas’ most underfunded public pension funds," 10 Aug. 2020 And, of course, the inadequacy of online distance learning — especially for lower income kids who may have less access to devices and good internet service — is not the only problem. James Pethokoukis, TheWeek, "The terrible tradeoff of keeping schools closed," 6 Aug. 2020

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

1787, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for inadequacy

Time Traveler

The first known use of inadequacy was in 1787

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Statistics for inadequacy

Last Updated

18 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inadequacy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for inadequacy


in·​ad·​e·​qua·​cy | \ i-ˈna-di-kwə-sē How to pronounce inadequacy (audio) \
plural inadequacies

Kids Definition of inadequacy

: the condition of being not enough or not good enough Parents criticized the inadequacy of safety measures.


in·​ad·​e·​qua·​cy | \ (ˈ)in-ˈad-i-kwə-sē How to pronounce inadequacy (audio) \
plural inadequacies

Medical Definition of inadequacy

: the quality or state of being inadequate

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