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 These equal and opposite platitudes share more than a formulation and a woeful inadequacy. Wells King, National Review, "Recovering the American Tradition of Economic Policy," 5 May 2020 Dwelling on inadequacies does nothing to help people feel more prepared or in control of a desperate situation. Ryan Nickerson, Houston Chronicle, "Bellaire Business Association: How to write a COVID-19 message for your business," 1 Apr. 2020 This could further compound problems in a part of the world that has long grappled with conflict, humanitarian disaster and infrastructure inadequacies. Philip Obaji, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus infections in Africa are rapidly rising. Its weak health systems may buckle," 27 Mar. 2020 Gone were the feelings of familial inadequacy and isolation envy that had been increasingly triggered by the merest glimpse at social media and its rampant coronabragging. Los Angeles Times, "Column: My husband’s cancer was diagnosed three days into the shutdown. Here’s the silver lining," 29 Apr. 2020 Though the evidence of inadequacies amassed in the four-year-old lawsuit is damning, students in the Detroit Public Schools Community District have shown some recent improvements in reading. New York Times, "Detroit Students Have a Constitutional Right to Literacy, Court Rules," 27 Apr. 2020 Failure to maintain a resolution can lead to feelings of inadequacy and defeat and rebound unhealthy behavior. Samantha Boardman, Marie Claire, "Are New Year's Resolutions Still a Thing?," 25 Dec. 2019 One example is the inadequacy of the PD-L1 biomarker to clearly identify responders to PD-1 blockers, a type of checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy currently being used. Thomas Davis, STAT, "Predicting immunotherapy success: We’ve mastered the foothills but the summit lies ahead," 6 Apr. 2020 This year, with a public health crisis crystallizing the inadequacies in U.S. workers’ rights and protections, the gender pay gap is yet another reminder of how women are hit particularly hard by inequality. Whizy Kim,, "Everything You’ve Ever Wondered About Equal Pay Day, Explained," 31 Mar. 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

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inadequacy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 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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