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



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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 One possible outcome is that the White House releases a proposal that Democrats view as inadequate, a move that could force Democrats to choose between supporting weak reforms or rejecting it for the status quo. Los Angeles Times, "Congress returns to a gun control fight and a government shutdown deadline," 9 Sep. 2019 That means Palace will be paying for both his on-field abilities and leadership skills, which goes some way to explaining why Liverpool view their £8m offer as inadequate., "Liverpool Demanding Higher Fee as Crystal Palace Swoop for Simon Mignolet," 27 June 2019 Until then, the state had valued a moose at only $1,000, which Skrocki described as woefully inadequate. National Geographic, "In the Alaska-Yukon wilderness, wildlife crime fighters face a daunting task," 25 June 2019 Current efforts in the county to address these causes of homelessness are tragically inadequate. Johnny Khamis, The Mercury News, "Opinion: Santa Clara County can do more to help solve root causes of homelessness," 13 Sep. 2019 Richard complained that even that behemoth building was inadequate to the inflow, which meant that books were being warehoused in large numbers. Sarah Ruden, National Review, "Reading Like a Child," 12 Sep. 2019 The continent is a patchwork of different histories, cultures and political traditions, but one where borders are utterly inadequate as tools of organisation. The Economist, "Europe’s long vacation flight home," 29 Aug. 2019 Carman filled the holes with putty, which was inadequate and made the boat unseaworthy, several witnesses said. Shelley Murphy,, "Nathan Carman takes stand in civil case focusing on sinking of his boat in 2016," 22 Aug. 2019 This is important in every market but especially vital in the context of developing markets, where basic logistics infrastructure, like road networks and trains, is often inadequate. Yinka Adegoke, Quartz Africa, "The promise of e-commerce in Africa might not be where we think," 22 July 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

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for inadequate

The first known use of inadequate was in 1671

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More Definitions for inadequate


How to pronounce inadequate (audio)

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).


to engage in dissolute behavior

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