suf·​fice | \ sə-ˈfīs also -ˈfīz How to pronounce suffice (audio) \
sufficed; sufficing

Definition of suffice

intransitive verb

1 : to meet or satisfy a need : be sufficient a brief note will suffice often used with an impersonal itsuffice it to say that they are dedicated, serious personalities— Cheryl Aldridge
2 : to be competent or capable

transitive verb

: to be enough for a few more should suffice them

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Other Words from suffice

sufficer noun

Synonyms for suffice


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Examples of suffice in a Sentence

She's also decided that she can't countenance her mother, who gives Jane cash but demands that her daughter save every receipt or package to prove that she didn't spend the money on drugs. Suffice it to say, their short-lived truce is over. — Alec Klein, A Class Apart: Prodigies, Pressure, and Passion Inside One of America's Best High Schools, 2007 Thirteen years later, I still don't know exactly what to make of this letter. It goes without saying that a simple thank-you note, especially nearly a year late, would have sufficed. — Scott Turow, Atlantic, December 2005 But what of the meteoroids that come from other large objects in the solar system? To escape from Venus or the Earth, matter must be ejected at a velocity of at least seven miles a second; on Mars, three miles a second will suffice. — Donald Goldsmith, Natural History, September 2003 No, you don't need to write a letter. A phone call will suffice. Her example alone should suffice to show that anything is possible.
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Recent Examples on the Web Why would The Mind Trust give $100,000, when less than 10% of that would have sufficed? Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: You're beautiful, Indiana, for answering Jim Irsay's $1 million challenge," 17 Mar. 2020 Any of those scenarios would suffice because that would mean there is basketball, which would mean COVID-19 will at least somewhat have been quelled. Dallas News, "Can the NBA realistically resume its season after third player contracts the coronavirus? Odds are not good," 14 Mar. 2020 Not apology, not suspension — only ritual electronic seppuku would suffice? Kyle Smith, National Review, "‘Grow Up’ vs. ‘Me Too’," 9 Mar. 2020 At last week’s committee meeting, some on council seemed to believe that two public readings of the Sherwin-Williams legislation would suffice. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, "Brecksville City Council may vote next week on Sherwin-Williams legislation," 25 Feb. 2020 More time, however, also means that one or two applause lines will no longer suffice. Nicole Goodkind, Fortune, "Just Six Candidates Qualify for the January Democratic Debate," 13 Jan. 2020 When that no longer suffices, the family most probably will turn to borrowing. WSJ, "Prof. Feldstein and Apple and Orange Prices," 30 June 2019 But Mayor Dean Trantalis fears the efforts will not suffice and plans to discuss a request for federal and state aid overhauling the sewage system at a city commission meeting on Tuesday. Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News, "More than 211 million gallons of sewage into Fort Lauderdale's waterways," 18 Feb. 2020 Whatever form the next settlement takes, palliative handouts to the aggrieved won’t suffice. Samuel Hammond, National Review, "The Return of Class Conflict," 6 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'suffice.' 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 suffice

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for suffice

Middle English suffisen, sufficen "to be adequate, be capable," borrowed from Anglo-French suffis-, stem of suffire "to be sufficient for, be adequate," Latinization of Old French sofire, soufire, going back to Vulgar Latin *suffīcere, alteration (with ī from verbs such as dīcere "to say") of Latin sufficere "to provide, appoint, have enough strength or capacity, be adequate," from suf-, assimilated form of sub- sub- + facere "to make, do" — more at fact

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Time Traveler for suffice

Time Traveler

The first known use of suffice was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

1 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Suffice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for suffice


How to pronounce suffice (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of suffice

: to be or provide as much as is needed : to be sufficient


suf·​fice | \ sə-ˈfīs How to pronounce suffice (audio) \
sufficed; sufficing

Kids Definition of suffice

: to satisfy a need : be enough I'm hungry, but just a snack will suffice.

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More from Merriam-Webster on suffice

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for suffice

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with suffice

Spanish Central: Translation of suffice

Nglish: Translation of suffice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of suffice for Arabic Speakers

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