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 In the latter case, fixes sent out from headquarters are likely to be inadequate. Noam Cohen, Wired, "Platforms' Election 'Fixes' Are Rooted in Flawed Philosophy," 14 Sep. 2020 Thompson’s 2017 ruling listed seven factors as contributing to the inadequate care, plus the overarching problems of overcrowding and understaffing. Mike Cason |, al, "Federal judge orders monitors in Alabama prison mental health case," 3 Sep. 2020 But also argued that in the early stages of the pandemic, testing capacity was inadequate and the CDC did not initially recommend face masks. Eliza Fawcett,, "Nursing home workers ask Connecticut lawmakers for help as they prepare for a potential second wave of coronavirus infections," 2 Sep. 2020 Gutwein declined to file a lawsuit seeking to recover additional alleged losses arguing the evidence was inadequate. Emily Hopkins, The Indianapolis Star, "'Where do you put your value?' Committee has questions for HHC over nursing home funds," 27 Aug. 2020 Families of numerous other inmates have also filed lawsuits against the jail, alleging inadequate medical care and improper conduct by staff. Michael Balsamo, Star Tribune, "Feds propose consent decree to ensure care at Virginia jail," 5 Aug. 2020 The allegations include polling places opening late, inadequate training of poll workers and failing to provide necessary Election Day forms to polling places. Kate Brumback, Star Tribune, "Board refers county's Election Day issues for further review," 3 Sep. 2020 The president’s claims to success were echoed by convention speakers, including Dr. G.E. Ghali, an oral surgeon and coronavirus patient from Louisiana, who thanked Trump for a response to the pandemic that Democrats criticize as woefully inadequate. Jordan Fabian,, "Trump Defends Virus Response While GOP Makes Fear an Early Theme," 28 Aug. 2020 Some 30 million of 40 million Californians live crowded along a desert-like coastal strip from La Jolla to Berkeley, with a water storage system designed for 20 million state residents that is now woefully inadequate. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "California Apocalypto," 25 Aug. 2020

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

20 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inadequate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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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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