in·​ad·​e·​quate | \ (ˌ)i-ˈna-di-kwət How to pronounce inadequate (audio) \

Definition of inadequate

: not adequate : not enough or good enough : insufficient inadequate equipment also : not capable was inadequate as a leader

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Other Words from inadequate

inadequately adverb
inadequateness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for inadequate


deficient, insufficient, lacking, low, scarce, short, shy, wanting


adequate, enough, sufficient

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Examples of inadequate in a Sentence

These supplies are inadequate to meet our needs. We were given very inadequate information. I felt inadequate to the task. Her brother's success and popularity always made her feel inadequate.
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Recent Examples on the Web

On that count, the budget’s proposals seem inadequate. Rahul Menon, Quartz India, "The Modi government wants a $5 trillion economy by 2024, but has done little to back it," 8 July 2019 Previous efforts to rein in spending or to remake the bank’s culture of recklessness proved inadequate. Jack Ewing, New York Times, "Deutsche Bank Scales Back Ambitions, Announcing Job Cuts and Reorganization," 7 July 2019 Mali’s army has proved woefully inadequate for re-establishing governance. W.b., The Economist, "A new round of violence in Mali," 3 July 2019 Meanwhile, advocates have said that sentencing guidelines are inadequate. Sam Sokol,, "Child advocates blast systemic failures in Israel’s handling of sex abuse cases," 2 July 2019 The raises are inadequate, said Marilyn McKinney, president of Judson Education Association, the local union affiliate of the Texas State Teachers’ Association. Liz Teitz,, "Judson ISD board, digging out of budget hole, disappoints teachers with raises," 28 June 2019 Jefferson Parish adviser broke laws on eligibility, homestead exemption, inquiry finds Planning Advisory Board member didn't live or vote in Jefferson; vetting called inadequate. . . . . . . Drew Broach,, "Jefferson inspector general must give reason to question Parish Council member, judge rules," 22 June 2019 The jury said the City of Rohnert Park failed to provide adequate training to five officers who responded, and the training policies of the City were inadequate for officers to handle unusual and recurring situations. Bay City News, The Mercury News, "Rhonert Park to challenge jury’s $4M award to family of man who died in police confrontation," 22 June 2019 Yet some of the companies acknowledge that such certifications have been inadequate to the child labor challenge. Peter Whoriskey, Anchorage Daily News, "Much of the chocolate you buy starts with child labor," 6 June 2019

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

1671, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for inadequate

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inadequate

The first known use of inadequate was in 1671

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More Definitions for inadequate



English Language Learners Definition of inadequate

: not enough or not good enough : not adequate


in·​ad·​e·​quate | \ i-ˈna-di-kwət How to pronounce inadequate (audio) \

Kids Definition of inadequate

: not enough or not good enough an inadequate supply an inadequate excuse


in·​ad·​e·​quate | \ -i-kwət How to pronounce inadequate (audio) \

Medical Definition of inadequate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not adequate : deficient an inadequate dose inadequate perfusion inadequate diets
2 : lacking the capacity for psychological maturity or adequate social adjustment an inadequate personality

Other Words from inadequate

inadequately adverb



Medical Definition of inadequate (Entry 2 of 2)

: one who is inadequate especially in terms of social adjustment

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Comments on inadequate

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


characterized by aphorism

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