suf·​fice | \ sə-ˈfīs How to pronounce suffice (audio) also -ˈfīz \
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 But there are good reasons to believe that these steps alone will not suffice. Joseph Stiglitz For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Covid-19 has scarred the global economy, but it's not too late to change course," 6 Sep. 2020 To that end, reviewers also caution against cooking on high with these pieces, and note that cooking on low to medium settings should suffice for most cooking. Shayna Murphy, USA TODAY, "This eight-piece Cuisinart stainless-steel cookware is exquisite—and it's half off," 24 Aug. 2020 Applicants have to submit past transcripts, but any grade point average above 0.5 — equivalent to a D-minus — would suffice, said the former employee in the nonmilitary division. Chris Lehmann, The New Republic, "Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Filthy, Predatory Finances," 25 Aug. 2020 Instead, when he was announced as the Indianapolis 500 champion over the IMS loudspeaker well, suffice it to say that any other year, the decibel level wouldn’t have even been worthy of the 31st place finisher. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "Dear Indianapolis 500 fans: We missed you," 24 Aug. 2020 The law, under Germany’s Dogs Act, will require that owners take their dogs out for at least one hour twice a day, meaning a quick jaunt around the block won’t suffice. Ally Mauch,, "New Law Proposed in Germany Demands Dog Owners Take Pets on an Hour-Long Walk Twice a Day," 20 Aug. 2020 But for the average person, wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing should suffice. Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Tuesday, August 4," 4 Aug. 2020 For those who cook rice once in a while, a good sturdy pot or saucepan will suffice. cleveland, "How to make a perfect pot of rice in a saucepan, Instant Pot or automatic cooker," 29 June 2020 Leftovers only suffice for so long, and the frozen TV dinners? Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, "HelloFresh is offering the best deal we've ever seen on its popular meal kits," 19 June 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

10 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Suffice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 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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Comments on suffice

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