in·​suf·​fi·​cien·​cy | \ ˌin(t)-sə-ˈfi-shən(t)-sē How to pronounce insufficiency (audio) \
plural insufficiencies

Definition of insufficiency

1 : the quality or state of being insufficient: such as
a : lack of mental or moral fitness : incompetence the insufficiency of this person for public office
b : lack of adequate supply insufficiency of provisions
c : lack of physical power or capacity especially : inability of an organ or body part to function normally renal insufficiency
2 : something that is insufficient or falls short of expectations

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Examples of insufficiency in a Sentence

dealt with the school's insufficiency of art supplies by buying materials out of her own pocket her alleged insufficiency for the job
Recent Examples on the Web Evidence is already mounting that as many as 5% of people who get serious Covid-19 will have meaningful long-term disabilities of various intensities, including pulmonary fibrosis, renal insufficiency and cardiac or neurological effects. Nicholas Christakis, WSJ, "The Long Shadow of the Pandemic: 2024 and Beyond," 16 Oct. 2020 The other disorder known to cause skin darkening is primary adrenal insufficiency (P.A.I.). Lisa Sanders, New York Times, "She Craved Salt and Felt Nauseated for Months. What Was Wrong?," 30 Sep. 2020 Again and again we are reminded of the insufficiency of doctrine and law to address the human predicament despite their overwhelming influence on our conduct. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "‘Jack’ Review: Far From the Fold," 25 Sep. 2020 Both the targets set in 2002 and 2008 failed, mainly due to the insufficiency of biomass. Monika Mandal, Quartz India, "How an Indian flight could run on biofuel—but India cannot," 10 Aug. 2020 But the insufficiency determination failed to adequately set forth the secretary of state's reasons for this finding, contravening Arkansas Code Annotated 7-9-111 (d), the ballot committee said. Michael R. Wickline, Arkansas Online, "Group drops bid to put casinos on Arkansas ballot," 8 Aug. 2020 The Arkansas Wins in 2020 committee said the secretary of state's insufficiency determinations on both July 14 and July 23 were wrong. Michael R. Wickline, Arkansas Online, "Group drops bid to put casinos on Arkansas ballot," 8 Aug. 2020 Under Mattys, Tactile Medical became a national leader in treatment of swelling conditions such as lymphedema and chronic venous insufficiency. Neal St. Anthony Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Tactile Medical was one of Minnesota's top-performing stocks over the past few years, until coronavirus," 8 Aug. 2020 Another way to detect uncounted deaths from the virus is by looking at deaths attributed to other conditions, like pneumonia and respiratory insufficiency. Diane Jeantet, Anchorage Daily News, "Brazil expunges virus death toll as data befuddles experts," 7 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'insufficiency.' 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 insufficiency

1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for insufficiency

Time Traveler

The first known use of insufficiency was in 1526

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Statistics for insufficiency

Last Updated

16 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insufficiency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for insufficiency


in·​suf·​fi·​cien·​cy | \ ˌin(t)-sə-ˈfish-ən-sē How to pronounce insufficiency (audio) \
plural insufficiencies

Medical Definition of insufficiency

: the quality or state of not being sufficient: as
a : lack of adequate supply of something an insufficiency of vitamins
b : lack of physical power or capacity especially : inability of an organ or bodily part to function normally renal insufficiency pulmonary insufficiency

Other Words from insufficiency

insufficient \ -​ənt How to pronounce insufficient (audio) \ adjective
insufficient blood flow to the brain

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