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 High housing costs force many people to make the choice between paying the rent or paying for medical treatment and leads many to financial distress or inadequate care. Richard Besser, ABC News, 30 July 2021 In January, as Biden prepared to take office, Amnesty International released a report documenting human rights violations perpetrated against those detained at the camp, including torture, inadequate medical care and the absence of fair trials. W.j. Hennigan, Time, 30 July 2021 Approving the vaccine and encouraging boosters at the same time may suggest to some that the vaccine as licensed is inadequate without an extra shot., 20 Aug. 2021 In its initial complaint, the FTC only offered indirect evidence, and very little of it: that feeble 60 percent statistic, which Boasberg ruled was inadequate. Gilad Edelman, Wired, 19 Aug. 2021 Sultan Abdullah said a new election is not an option because many parts of the country are COVID-19 red zones and health facilities are inadequate. Eileen Ng, ajc, 16 Aug. 2021 Despite interest in that option from labor organizations and other groups, Inslee’s rejected the approach, saying it had been shown to be inadequate at health care facilities that have tried it. Jim Brunner, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Aug. 2021 Despite this grim reality, vaccine uptake is inadequate. Arthur L. Caplan, STAT, 27 July 2021 Taken together, the materials shed new light on the sprawling patchwork of law enforcement agencies that tried to stop the siege and the lack of coordination and inadequate planning that stymied their efforts. Star Tribune, 5 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for inadequate

Time Traveler

The first known use of inadequate was in 1671

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Dictionary Entries Near inadequate



in a different league

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Statistics for inadequate

Last Updated

9 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inadequate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on inadequate

Nglish: Translation of inadequate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inadequate for Arabic Speakers


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