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

His weekend of sailing and party-going coincides with the Apollo 11 moon landing, a reminder of John Kennedy’s legacy and of Ted’s inadequacy. A. O. Scott, New York Times, "Review: ‘Chappaquiddick’ Revisits a Grim ’60s Kennedy Scandal," 4 Apr. 2018 Prior to the July letter, the American Civil Liberties Union used the service in a demonstration of its inadequacy—the service falsely matched 28 members of Congress with mugshots. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Congress: Amazon didn’t give “sufficient answers” about facial recognition," 29 Nov. 2018 And help end those inadequacies in education that cement disparities in wealth, health, and success. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Eric Holder: ‘The teachers are right. This must remain a movement and not just be a moment.’," 18 May 2018 In fact, his solution to Beth's feelings of inadequacy was to hire her for his campaign team. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "I've Had It With Randall on This Is Us," 28 Nov. 2018 The decision in New Mexico follows recent determinations in lawsuits against other states that also alleged inadequacies in public education. Tawnell D. Hobbs, WSJ, "New Mexico Fails to Provide At-Risk Students With Proficient Education, Judge Rules," 23 July 2018 The pressure for awards shows has mounted exponentially every year, as Hollywood’s inadequacies grow more and more apparent. Devon Maloney, The Verge, "Hollywood had a breakdown trying to justify itself at the 2018 Emmys," 18 Sep. 2018 Another study released found that social media, especially Instagram, deepend feelings of anxiety and inadequacy for 15 to 24 year olds. Christopher Carbone, Fox News, "Snapchat surgery: disturbing trend of patients wanting to look 'filtered' seen by doctors," 9 Aug. 2018 Negative perfectionism is linked to anger and rumination, such as obsessing about thoughts of inadequacy, according to a study published in the December 2010 issue of the International Journal of Psychology. Tori Rodriguez, Woman's Day, "9 Attitude Adjustments for a Happier Life," 18 Jan. 2011

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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Statistics for inadequacy

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Time Traveler for inadequacy

The first known use of inadequacy was in 1787

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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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Comments on inadequacy

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


a strong desire or propensity

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