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 There is plenty of room at both of the shelters the city runs nearby; authorities say no one would be turned away because of insufficient capacity at either place., 9 Oct. 2021 All these tools figure extensively in decarbonization plans laid out by groups like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, but, according to those plans, even when combined with one another the tools are insufficient. Rivka Galchen, The New Yorker, 4 Oct. 2021 Prosecutors later said the country's laws were insufficient for the charges to be pursued. NBC News, 30 Sep. 2021 For many lawmakers, this week’s hearings — however dramatic — are likely to be insufficient. Karoun Demirjian, Anchorage Daily News, 28 Sep. 2021 Simply pausing Instagram Kids was insufficient, said lawmakers, including Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut and the chairman of the subcommittee holding Thursday’s hearing. New York Times, 27 Sep. 2021 The Greens' secretary, Torkil Vederhus, expressed frustration that even the dramatic summer was insufficient to convince the Norwegian people that the climate crisis should be their first concern. Angela Dewan And Laura Smith-spark, CNN, 19 Sep. 2021 But Ortega has cracked down hard this year, the November election is an obvious farce, and the U.S. and global reaction has been insufficient. Elliott Abrams, National Review, 19 Sep. 2021 Whether the result of a hurricane on the East Coast or insufficient electricity power generation capacity on the West Coast, electricity outages harm Americans. Diana Furchtgott-roth, Forbes, 5 Sep. 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

13 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insufficient.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

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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 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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