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 Federal prosecutors on Tuesday accused D.C. police of using insufficient evidence to arrest demonstrators accused of rioting, putting the U.S. attorney’s office and local authorities at odds over how to deal with days of unrest in the District. Washington Post, "Prosecutor accuses D.C. police of making rioting arrests with insufficient evidence," 1 Sep. 2020 There was insufficient evidence to bring charges against the sender, said Michelle Bays, chief investigator for the Washoe County district attorney’s office. Jessica Huseman, ProPublica, "For Election Administrators, Death Threats Have Become Part of the Job," 21 Aug. 2020 Delivering their verdict over several hours, the judges said there was insufficient evidence against three other men charged as accomplices in the bombing and they were acquitted. NBC News, "Hezbollah member found guilty in assassination of ex-Lebanese prime minister," 18 Aug. 2020 The judges said there was insufficient evidence to convict three other defendants in the case. Jared Malsin, WSJ, "Tribunal Convicts Hezbollah Member in Hariri Assassination, Acquits Three Others," 18 Aug. 2020 Despite the many dead Chinese, the grand jurors concluded there was insufficient evidence to show a crime had been committed. Graeme Mcmillan, The Hollywood Reporter, "How 'The Last Western' Uncovers the Truth Behind a Midwest Murder," 12 Aug. 2020 Dunbar was removed from the list after Broward (Florida) prosecutors declined to file criminal charges against him for his involvement in an armed robbery case due to insufficient evidence. oregonlive, "Seattle Seahawks’ Quinton Dunbar expected to join team after armed robbery charges dropped," 9 Aug. 2020 Amber Gugyer’s defense team filed an appeal Tuesday to overturn her 2019 murder conviction, citing insufficient evidence. Dallas News, "Amber Guyger’s defense team files appeal after 2019 murder conviction," 7 Aug. 2020 His public defender advised him to fight the charge, believing there was insufficient evidence to convict him. Ximena Larkin, Star Tribune, "How a Black cowboy became a disinformation target," 7 Aug. 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

18 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insufficient.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for insufficient


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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