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

For that reason, the politics of representation—the idea that simply being present, being in the room, is somehow radical or transformative—seems insufficient. Eve L. Ewing, GQ, "Bomani Jones Has a Funny Joke for You," 15 May 2018 But privacy experts call such assurances insufficient, because Canada’s legal frameworks for data privacy and security lag behind the latest innovations from tech firms. The Economist, "The world’s first neighbourhood built “from the internet up”," 2 May 2018 Special counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report was unequivocal in finding insufficient evidence of a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. Jacob Gershman, WSJ, "The Law Behind Mueller’s Findings on Obstruction, Collusion," 18 Apr. 2019 In this instance, there was insufficient evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt a violation of the federal criminal civil rights statutes. Todd Richmond, The Seattle Times, "Wisconsin youth prison probe closes without charges," 12 Apr. 2019 On election day, voters in precincts with high minority populations reported dealing with voting machines without power, locations with too few machines, and an insufficient number of provisional ballots, the lawsuit notes. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "The new lawsuit challenging Georgia’s entire elections system, explained," 30 Nov. 2018 Older instructors lost their offices and, reassigned to a cramped open space, shared an insufficient number of computers even as younger colleagues kept their offices and desktops. Paula Span, New York Times, "He Called Older Employees ‘Dead Wood.’ Two Sued for Age Discrimination.," 6 July 2018 These include the high workloads that vary from city to city, an insufficient number of people under the age of 40 practicing, and private versus government insurance coverage. Mckenna Moore, Fortune, "These Cities Are Most Likely To Face an OB-GYN Shortage By 2020," 27 June 2018 If an insufficient number of apartment units are available at 75 Tresser Boulevard, the university could lease additional units with Copperline Partners at the 65/77 Prospect St.apartment complex. Kathleen Megan,, "UConn Trustees To Vote Wednesday On Expanding Housing For Popular Stamford Campus," 5 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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Statistics for insufficient

Last Updated

16 May 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).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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