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

Based on the overall quantity, quality and diversity of LGBTQ representation, a grade was then assigned to each studio: excellent, good, insufficient, poor or failing. Tre'vell Anderson,, "GLAAD's report on LGBTQ representation in 2017 films finds inclusion trending down," 22 May 2018 The government’s Medicare program for seniors covers proton treatment more often than private insurers but is insufficient by itself to recoup the massive investment, analysts said., "Maryland Proton Treatment Center's restructuring reflects a bubble in health care investment," 3 May 2018 Tribune terminated the deal in August and sued Sinclair, saying its efforts to win regulatory approval was insufficient. Micah Maidenberg, WSJ, "Nexstar Confirms Deal to Buy Tribune Media for $4.1 Billion," 3 Dec. 2018 The corruption monitoring agency said the Afghan government’s anti-corruption efforts had been insufficient. Jamey Keaten, The Seattle Times, "Top diplomats at UN meeting offer support for Afghanistan," 28 Nov. 2018 Investigators closed the complaint without recommending disciplinary action, after finding insufficient evidence that the loan was ever given. Eli Rosenberg,, "Police framed a teen for 4 burglaries so chief could tout perfect clearance rate, prosecutors say," 11 June 2018 Angela Merkel’s position as German chancellor became more precarious on Sunday after her interior minister, Horst Seehofer, rejected a European deal on limiting immigration as insufficient, threatening her government. Kristen Bellstrom, Fortune, "Broadsheet template," 1 July 2018 Again, though, Brown will portray such steps as insufficient, particularly since Morales did not explicitly characterize the conduct Brown experienced as abusive. Michael Mccann,, "Inside Sterling Brown’s compelling lawsuit against the Milwaukee Police Department and City of Milwaukee," 19 June 2018 But the need is so great that the assistance is perceived as insufficient. Carol Morello, Washington Post, "Under pressure from Pence, U.S. aid is directed to Christian, Yazidi communities in Iraq," 16 June 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

26 Dec 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).


a person who helps groups work together

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