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



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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 Over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office projects that the highway and transit trust funds will face a $190 billion shortfall — and even that spending level would be insufficient to maintain highway conditions and performance. Brian Riedl, National Review, 16 July 2021 Others filed three more complaints in September alleging that the site’s sanitation practices, personal protective equipment and quarantine measures were insufficient. Maryam Jameel, ProPublica, 16 July 2021 Some experts think government warnings and voluntary industry standards are insufficient. Kate Gibson, CBS News, 12 July 2021 The new law would allow the CFTC to transfer up to $10 million from the fund into a separate account at the Treasury and use the account to pay for operating and programming expenses when the balance in the protection fund is insufficient. Mengqi Sun, WSJ, 7 July 2021 Yet rebuilding America will be insufficient if Americans lose faith in their basic institutions. Trudy Rubin, Star Tribune, 30 June 2021 However, elevating the alternative explanation to the status of leading explanation requires something more: a demonstration that the default hypothesis is somehow insufficient. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 29 June 2021 But those measures were insufficient, FWW alleged, pointing to fines and citations against Smithfield plants from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration over the company's failure to protect its employees from exposure to the coronavirus. Danielle Wiener-bronner, CNN, 21 June 2021 DeLuca and the other victims said the university's probe was insufficient and want the AG to conduct her own investigation. NBC News, 16 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for insufficient

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

21 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insufficient.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for insufficient



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

More from Merriam-Webster on insufficient

Nglish: Translation of insufficient for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of insufficient for Arabic Speakers


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