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 As a result, investigation for Lee's defense was inadequate. Dakin Andone, CNN, "Ledell Lee was executed in Arkansas in 2017. A new lawsuit says he was innocent," 24 Jan. 2020 In the New Orleans area, levees that the Corps recently spent $14 billion to upgrade are sinking and are projected to be inadequate within four years. Anne Barnard, New York Times, "The $119 Billion Sea Wall That Could Defend New York … or Not," 17 Jan. 2020 If temperatures are high and the rains and irrigation are inadequate, the plant may stop maturing fruit that already is on the tree. Calvin Finch,, "Gardening: Growing figs, apples, pears and plums in your San Antonio backyard; what you need to know," 16 Jan. 2020 Brady told us all year through his body language and his refusal to grant his imprimatur that the offense was inadequate. Globe Staff,, "Tom Brady’s preference has to be staying with Patriots," 10 Jan. 2020 The written supervisory procedures for making sure Robinhood received the best trade execution possible for customers were inadequate, FINRA said. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "Robinhood got fined for the way it handled “commission free” trades," 19 Dec. 2019 This is happening in a society without an appropriate understanding and acceptance of mental health issues, and in which mental health facilities are inadequate. Hadiza Kere Abdulrahman, Quartz Africa, "The distorted narratives about Islamic schools deflect from ugly truths about Nigerian society," 17 Dec. 2019 Others said the community outreach process had been inadequate. Rachel Swan,, "Heavy trucks are among California’s biggest polluters. Can the state make them go electric?," 6 Dec. 2019 The plaintiffs accuse the ride-share company of not doing enough to protect riders and argue the company's background checks for drivers and safety features for riders are inadequate. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for December 5: Impeachment, George Zimmerman, sex assaults, measles," 5 Dec. 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

28 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inadequate.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 28 January 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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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).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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