in·suf·fi·cient | \ˌin(t)-sə-ˈfi-shənt \

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

But demand-side measures are insufficient without efforts to tackle the production of fossil fuels. Richard Denniss, Fortune, "Justin Trudeau’s Pipeline Purchase Isn’t Just Hypocritical, It’s Bad Economics," 30 June 2018 This group also believes that the antibiotic treatment guidelines recommended by the IDSA are insufficient to adequately treat this condition. Rafal Tokarz,, "The Lyme Disease Complication You Don't Know About—But Should," 31 May 2018 Renee is a walking, talking, bikini-contest-entering reminder that self-confidence, as long as the world around it insists on equating physical beauty with moral achievement, will be laughably insufficient. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "When Beauty Is a Troll," 22 Apr. 2018 District Judge Michael McSpadden threw out the criminal charge against Gabbay after prosecutors found there was insufficient evidence to proceed. Nancy Sarnoff, Houston Chronicle, "Judge dismisses charge in Bellaire builder case," 21 June 2018 That attack led to a months-long Pentagon investigation which concluded that poor training and insufficient support were contributing factors to the ambush. Nancy A. Youssef, WSJ, "U.S. Special-Operations Member Killed in Somalia," 8 June 2018 After a first vote to recommend no change to the ordinance saw insufficient support from commissioners, the board voted again, to recommend the ordinance be changed, with five commissioners in favor and Miller abstaining. Caitlin Mullen,, "Oak Park Board of Health recommends allowing Beer Shop patrons to bring their dogs," 23 May 2018 Legislative leaders have said there was insufficient support this year to pay out a full dividend under that calculation, which would have been about $2,650. Becky Bohrer, The Seattle Times, "Alaska Legislature passes budgets, ends extended session," 13 May 2018 This insufficient infrastructure support has left the predominantly robotic space program gasping for air. Shannon Stirone, Longreads, "Welcome to the Center of the Universe," 15 Mar. 2018

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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Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

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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

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


in·suf·fi·cient | \ˌin-sə-ˈfi-shənt \

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).


to reject or criticize sharply

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