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 This treatment increases the likelihood that a patient will enter a recovery program and stick with it, yet the vast majority of patients with opioid addiction are discharged from emergency departments with inadequate or no treatment at all. Alister Martin, STAT, "Changing emergency doctors’ behaviors to promote wider use of medication for opioid use disorder," 27 Nov. 2019 In each of these cases, poor or inadequate sleep was one of the factors that contributed to the failure. The Conversation, oregonlive, "Daylight saving time: Judges give harsher sentences, worker injuries rise day after," 3 Nov. 2019 That represented an upgrade from a previous recommendation that there was inadequate or insufficient evidence to link the diseases to the toxic herbicides used as defoliants in Vietnam. Fox News, "Veterans face more delays on Agent Orange relief," 26 Oct. 2019 This has encouraged a culture of lethargic and inadequate application of scientific findings to helmet safety. Wired, "The NFL's Helmet Tests Are Brainless," 17 Oct. 2019 The organization eventually concluded her account was troubling but inadequate. Beth Nakamura, The Oregonian -, "NOMERCY," 8 Oct. 2019 But Moser refuses to rest easy on any simple portrait of Sontag as an inadequate or absent mother. Leslie Jamison, The New Republic, "The Remaking of Susan Sontag," 12 Sep. 2019 Yet that three-run edge proved inadequate in regulation. Alex Speier,, "Mookie Betts homers in first, 15th innings as Red Sox outlast Angels," 31 Aug. 2019 If, say, Mitt Romney or George W. Bush had been president on August 3, each of them would also have been blamed for inspiring the El Paso massacre, and whatever either of them said afterwards would have been labeled grossly inadequate, or worse. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Trump Can Do No Right," 8 Aug. 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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Time Traveler for inadequate

Time Traveler

The first known use of inadequate was in 1671

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Statistics for inadequate

Last Updated

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Inadequate.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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

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