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 a comment letter obtained exclusively by CNN Business, California and nearly a dozen other states warn that the SEC's current disclosure rules are inadequate given the gravity of the climate crisis and the transparency investors crave. Matt Egan, CNN, 14 June 2021 The legislative package was praised by antitrust experts who say that tech giants have used their power to insulate themselves from competitive threats and that existing law is inadequate to challenge the companies., 11 June 2021 The problem is, $100 billion was already inadequate. Bhaskar Chakravorti, Wired, 10 June 2021 But its parameters are inadequate, and one reason why may be embedded in your family’s heirloom engagement ring. Steven Press, Time, 10 June 2021 If the water is still there after 24 hours, the drainage on your site may be inadequate. Kevin Brasler, Star Tribune, 5 June 2021 The weld between the outrigger assembly and the body's sub-frame assembly may be inadequate, which could result in failure of the aerial unit during use. Detroit Free Press, 5 June 2021 Because if the government is illegitimate, science and medicine are rejected and even the normally persuasive appeal to religion is inadequate, then there are precious few remaining threads holding our society together. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 June 2021 The grieving mother’s lawsuit cited three other cases, contending that the county’s record of training staff and supervising the care of children was inadequate. Morgan Cook, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 May 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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Statistics for inadequate

Last Updated

17 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inadequate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 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


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