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 it suffice 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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Those facts already suffice to recommend serious course correction. Robert Hockett, Forbes, 1 May 2022 The business impact of course pales in comparison to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, but suffice to say the global fallout will be with us for some time. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, 18 Apr. 2022 For now, phone calls and texts will have to suffice. Cathryn J. Prince, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 Apr. 2022 Mayor de Blasio had initially been reluctant to make coronavirus vaccines mandatory, hoping that encouragement and convenience would suffice. New York Times, 17 Mar. 2022 Sunday scaries or not, falling asleep can be an arduous task that no amount of counting sheep will suffice. Daisy Maldonado, SELF, 11 Mar. 2022 The film is filled with many disturbing twists, but suffice to say that Keoghan is a haunting villain, full of blank expressions and pitiless stares in even the most distressing moments. William Earl, Variety, 5 Mar. 2022 Shocking images and words, Channell-Justice notes, make an impact when polite language doesn’t suffice. Washington Post, 3 Mar. 2022 The invasion of Ukraine has shattered the illusion that this approach would suffice. William A. Galston, WSJ, 1 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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suffice (it) to say

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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Suffice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for suffice


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on suffice

Nglish: Translation of suffice for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of suffice for Arabic Speakers


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