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

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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 For others, the need to demonstrate productivity, coupled with the absence of familiar modes of measurement, means that nothing seems to suffice, and work begins to saturate all areas of life with an insistent but unfulfillable demand. Hari Kunzru, Harper's Magazine, "You Must Change Your Life," 27 Apr. 2021 But suffice to say, their recent run of exceptionalism may be over. Gabe Lacques, USA Today, "Bombers to bust? Yankees can reverse slow start but time running out," 19 Apr. 2021 Tatis had just three hits in 16 at-bats before his injury, and suffice to say, every swing and every dive in the field won’t come with some degree of clenched teeth for Padres fans. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "'It's going to be a good test for us': Padres meet reigning World Series champ Dodgers for first time in 2021," 16 Apr. 2021 That testimonial, and the adamant support of Hartline, can suffice for now. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football’s Julian Fleming on the mend this spring as Buckeyes’ expectations remain high," 16 Apr. 2021 And resorting to activities or events does not suffice. Luc-christophe Guillerm, Scientific American, "Coping Strategies of Ocean Castaways Hold Lessons for the COVID Pandemic," 16 Apr. 2021 Once every two to three months should suffice for most households. Lauren Corona,, "Does my Shark vacuum have a HEPA filter?," 11 Apr. 2021 For now, the cards suffice as documentation for incentives such as the free doughnuts and special seats at Miami Heat games. Christopher Snowbeck, Star Tribune, "Vaccine 'passports' stir debate in Minnesota," 10 Apr. 2021 Some push annual contracts that cost $400 or more, even though, for most pests, a single treatment done well should suffice. Washington Post, "Many companies advertise ‘green’ pest control. But is it possible? And does it work?," 8 Apr. 2021

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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Statistics for suffice

Last Updated

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Suffice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for suffice



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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