verb suf·fice \ sə-ˈfīs also -ˈfīz \
Updated on: 17 Apr 2018

Definition of suffice

sufficed; sufficing
1 : to meet or satisfy a need : be sufficient
  • a brief note will suffice
often used with an impersonal it
  • suffice it to say that they are dedicated, serious personalities
  • —Cheryl Aldridge
2 : to be competent or capable
: to be enough for
  • a few more should suffice them



Examples of suffice in a Sentence

  1. 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 KleinA Class Apart: Prodigies, Pressure, and Passion Inside One of America's Best High Schools2007
  2. 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 TurowAtlanticDecember 2005
  3. 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 GoldsmithNatural HistorySeptember 2003
  4. No, you don't need to write a letter. A phone call will suffice.

  5. Her example alone should suffice to show that anything is possible.

Recent Examples of suffice from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of suffice

Middle English, from Anglo-French suffis-, stem of suffire, from Latin sufficere to provide, be adequate, from sub- + facere to make, do — more at do

suffice Synonyms


do, serve;

SUFFICE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of suffice for English Language Learners

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

SUFFICE Defined for Kids


verb suf·fice \ sə-ˈfīs \

Definition of suffice for Students

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

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investment of mental or emotional energy

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