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

Detroit has already created much of its RiverWalk, its large if inadequate Hart Plaza, Campus Martius and the esplanade running south from there, and now Spirit Plaza itself. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit needs to put stretch of Jefferson underground for more walkable downtown," 27 July 2019 In 2014, the state’s first nonconsensual pornography case, People v. Barber, proved those anti-harassment laws inadequate. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "New York's Revenge Porn Law Is a Flawed Step Forward," 24 July 2019 Negative impacts on care Webcams are a consumer response to the United States’ inadequate long-term care system. Karen Levy, The Conversation, "Webcams in nursing home rooms may deter elder abuse – but are they ethical?," 24 July 2019 However, this mindset is inadequate for dealing with trade wars. The Economist, "SecurityCompanies must get ready for a riskier world," 11 July 2019 The Black Student Union also staged a walkout at the Southwest Portland school for what the club’s leaders say was an inadequate response to several racist incidents there., "After end-of-year leadership controversy, Portland’s Cleveland High has a new principal," 10 July 2019 The government would have to replace contractors who provide inadequate care. Alan Fram, The Denver Post, "Border aid package showdown looms as time runs short," 26 June 2019 The deterioration of living standards: inadequate health care, housing, living wage jobs and environmental degradation for millions of working class people and families throughout the state. sacbee, "Antonia Hernandez," 27 June 2018 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

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

12 Aug 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).


of or relating to the heavens

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