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 Three officers were placed on leave and later returned to the force after District Attorney Dave Young said there was insufficient evidence to charge them. NBC News, "Thousands gather near Denver to demand justice for Elijah McClain," 28 June 2020 The district attorney’s office also declined another case against Jeremy due to insufficient evidence, stemming from an incident in 2016. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "Adult film star Ron Jeremy pleads not guilty to raping three women, sexually assaulting fourth," 27 June 2020 Her criminal case was dismissed in May for insufficient evidence. Emilie Eaton,, "Fired S.A. police officer faces fourth allegation of family violence after girlfriend, also a police officer, is observed with bruising, bite marks," 26 June 2020 Another allegation from 2016, was declined by prosecutors because of insufficient evidence. Andrew Dalton, Fortune, "Adult film star Ron Jeremy charged with raping three women and sexually assaulting a fourth," 23 June 2020 But representation is insufficient, particularly if efforts are not made to transform culture and decision-making processes. Nadia Owusu, Quartz, "Is your business model anti-racist?," 12 July 2020 The appeals court has repeatedly blocked Trump administration efforts to expedite energy environmental analyses, and Boasberg relied heavily on its past D.C. Circuit rulings in concluding that the Army Corps’ environmental review was insufficient. Dallas News, "Kelcy Warren’s Energy Transfer girds for next battle over Dakota Access pipeline," 11 July 2020 If the worst presidents are produced by their historical moment, enabled by their parties, and reflective of deep divides and flaws in American life, simply voting them out is insufficient. David Rothkopf, The New York Review of Books, "‘The Most Ignorant and Unfit’: What Made America’s Worst Ever Leader?," 3 July 2020 Researchers are looking at whether the racial disparities can be explained by factors such as underlying health conditions, crowded living situations, vitamin D deficiencies or insufficient access to protective equipment. Washington Post, "How France’s aversion to collecting data on race affects its coronavirus re...," 26 June 2020

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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Statistics for insufficient

Last Updated

1 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insufficient.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce insufficient (audio)

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

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