in·​suf·​fi·​cient | \ ˌin(t)-sə-ˈfi-shənt How to pronounce insufficient (audio) \

Definition of insufficient

: not sufficient : inadequate insufficient funds especially : lacking adequate power, capacity, or competence insufficient bandwidth

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Other Words from insufficient

insufficiently adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for insufficient


deficient, inadequate, lacking, low, scarce, short, shy, wanting


adequate, enough, sufficient

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Examples of insufficient in a Sentence

The case was thrown out because of insufficient evidence. there's been an insufficient number of volunteers for the job, so I'll have to select someone

Recent Examples on the Web

The San Francisco District Attorney’s office weighed criminal charges against Baer but declined to pursue them, citing insufficient evidence of a crime. Henry Schulman,, "Larry Baer is ‘truly sorry’ and coming back to the Giants. What’s waiting for him?," 29 June 2019 Both of these cases were dismissed for lack of probable cause, which means that the commission found insufficient evidence of unlawful discriminatory treatment. Emily Sweeney,, "‘I was black, I was nobody, and I worked for security’: Guards at the MFA speak out," 29 June 2019 Barr later said there was insufficient evidence to bring obstruction charges against Trump. Hope Yen, The Seattle Times, "Schiff: Amash criticism not enough to push Trump impeachment," 20 May 2019 The 2010 case had insufficient evidence, according to a 2017 decision by the Cochise County Attorney, who was tabbed to investigate it. Richard Ruelas And, azcentral, "Why has former Attorney General Tom Horne aligned himself with the Rev. Jarrett Maupin?," 21 June 2019 Mueller said there was insufficient evidence of a conspiracy and that a Justice Department policy against charging a sitting president precluded him from concluding whether Trump obstructed justice. Tal Kopan,, "Pelosi: We’ll impeach ‘when we stop finding even more information’," 19 June 2019 Since 1988, more than half of the 1,300 claims of death were dismissed because the program found insufficient evidence that the vaccine was responsible. New York Times, "Vaccine Injury Claims Are Few and Far Between," 18 June 2019 The case was dismissed due to insufficient evidence but was ordered to pay the families $450,000. Fox News, "American dies in Dominican Republic after botched liposuction performed by unlicensed gynecologist," 15 June 2019 After Gartner filed the complaints, the city's human resources department investigated, but found insufficient evidence of violations to the city's anti-discrimination, retaliation or harassment policies. Kathryn Vasel, CNN, "Fired for being transgender: The fight for LGBTQ workers' rights," 14 June 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for insufficient

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin insufficient-, insufficiens, from Latin in- + sufficient-, sufficiens sufficient

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Statistics for insufficient

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for insufficient

The first known use of insufficient was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of insufficient

somewhat formal : not having or providing enough of what is needed : not sufficient


in·​suf·​fi·​cient | \ ˌin-sə-ˈfi-shənt How to pronounce insufficient (audio) \

Kids Definition of insufficient

: not enough : not sufficient There was insufficient time to finish.

Other Words from insufficient

insufficiently adverb

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Comments on insufficient

What made you want to look up insufficient? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a small bunch of flowers

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