suf·​fi·​cien·​cy | \ sə-ˈfi-shən(t)-sē How to pronounce sufficiency (audio) \
plural sufficiencies

Definition of sufficiency

1 : sufficient means to meet one's needs : competency also : a modest but adequate scale of living
2 : the quality or state of being sufficient : adequacy

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Examples of sufficiency in a Sentence

the sufficiency of the portions is such that you will leave the restaurant with a full stomach but without doggie bags
Recent Examples on the Web Many young women have experienced episodes of self-doubt in school, work and beyond, which leave them feeling insecure about the sufficiency of their skills to carry them through new or challenging situations. NBC News, "3 science-backed techniques to help young women overcome self-doubt," 30 Mar. 2021 The basics of self-sufficiency — in a natural disaster or after a layoff — overlapped with tamer-sounding trends such as homesteading, crafting and gardening. Eric Dexheimer, San Antonio Express-News, "Can Texas leaders learn anything from preppers?," 22 Mar. 2021 Helping 27 job seekers with developmental disabilities find jobs in an inclusive employment setting and move toward the goal of economic self-sufficiency. Ivana Venema-nunez, The Arizona Republic, "176 Arizona nonprofits receive Season for Sharing grants, many to help address COVID-19 needs," 21 Mar. 2021 Domestic consumption will be a big focus along with curbing pollution and technological self-sufficiency. Brendan Ahern, Forbes, "China PMIs Highlight Commodity Needs, Hang Seng Index Revamp Embraces New Economy," 1 Mar. 2021 Through-hiking the 2,660-mile PCT, which spans mountain ranges between Mexico and Canada, is a six-month commitment to self-sufficiency in the woods. Gregory Thomas, San Francisco Chronicle, "Dangers of hiking Pacific Crest Trail loom as 2021 season approaches," 21 Feb. 2021 Among them are Bob Wells, the movement’s YouTube evangelist; Swankie, who offers lessons in self-sufficiency to Fern; and the ebullient Linda May, who tells a story about contemplating ending her life. Alison Willmore, Vulture, "Chloé Zhao’s America," 16 Feb. 2021 The nonprofit is also trying to help working parents build financial assets and achieve self-sufficiency, Cooper said. Madison Iszler,, "San Antonio Food Bank plans to build $9 million complex in New Braunfels for families struggling with rising housing costs," 31 Dec. 2020 The issue is not in the sufficiency of numbers; the problem is in the limited number of leadership opportunities given. Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, "NFL hiring cycle shows minority coaching candidates are still being overlooked for top positions," 23 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sufficiency.' 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 sufficiency

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sufficiency

earlier sufficience in same sense (going back to Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Late Latin sufficientia, from Latin sufficient-, sufficiens sufficient + -ia -ia entry 1) + -ency

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Time Traveler for sufficiency

Time Traveler

The first known use of sufficiency was in the 15th century

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Statistics for sufficiency

Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sufficiency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for sufficiency



Legal Definition of sufficiency

: the quality or state of being sufficient the sufficiency of the evidence to convict

More from Merriam-Webster on sufficiency

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sufficiency

Britannica English: Translation of sufficiency for Arabic Speakers

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