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 Getting the team’s best playmakers on the field at the same time, suffice to say, makes things more complicated for opposing defenses. Tom Green |, al, "A slight adjustment for Anthony Schwartz could hold key to Auburn’s offense against LSU and beyond," 21 Oct. 2019 Another cheese such as Mahón Curado would suffice indeed. Bill St. John, The Denver Post, "Get Cooking: Finishing soups," 18 Dec. 2019 Instead of drafting an inside linebacker or signing one in free agency, the Ravens hoped Patrick Onwuasor, fresh off a breakout season playing next to Mosley, and a combination of second-year players Kenny Young and Chris Board would suffice. Daniel Oyefusi,, "Nine months after C.J. Mosley left in free agency, Ravens relying on mix of youth and experience at linebacker," 11 Dec. 2019 Any one of the 15 models manufactured that year would suffice, but Gallahan was hoping to find a sporty model. Vern Parker, Houston Chronicle, "1941 Ford well-deserved sporty birthday gift to self," 6 Dec. 2019 Many Clotilda descendants say reconciliation with the Meahers would suffice. San Diego Union-Tribune, "America’s last slave ship could offer a case for reparations," 5 Oct. 2019 Another interception or a fumble recovery would probably suffice come Sunday’s home opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, "What we learned Thursday at 49ers HQ," 19 Sep. 2019 A few minutes, until the roux is blond or golden, will typically suffice for gravy. Becky Krystal, Washington Post, "How to make a no-stress, showstopping Thanksgiving gravy," 18 Nov. 2019 But less than four months before the Iowa caucuses, her competitors have determined that complacency will not suffice. Matt Flegenheimer, New York Times, "Elizabeth Warren, Candidate With the Plans, Needed One for All the Incoming Attacks," 16 Oct. 2019

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

5 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Suffice.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Feb. 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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