suf·​fi·​cien·​cy | \sə-ˈfi-shən(t)-sē \
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

The Department of Homeland Security announced the proposal in September as a way to promote self-sufficiency among immigrants and protect American taxpayers. Alex Leary, WSJ, "Business Leaders Voice Concern About Trump Plan to Crack Down on Immigrants Using Public Benefits," 6 Dec. 2018 With most of the country covered in mountains and a government policy of strict self-sufficiency, every available nook and cranny is put to use growing something. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: North Korea farmers focus on fields, not summit," 14 June 2018 But the first step on the path to financial self-sufficiency is finding a job. Andy Puzder, WSJ, "Stop Bezos From Hiring Poor People?," 17 Sep. 2018 The Leichtag Foundation is proud to support and honor the model, multi-faceted programming that Interfaith Community Services provides to advance self-sufficiency in the region, said Sharyn Goodson, Leichtag's director of philanthropic strategy. Gary Warth,, "Leichtag Foundation pledges $300,000 in fund drive for individuals, families in need," 11 May 2018 Yet manufactured products today contain so many inputs from around the world, true self-sufficiency is virtually impossible. Greg Ip, WSJ, "The Flaw in Trump’s National Security Tariffs Logic," 9 Mar. 2018 The early early lessons in self-sufficiency began when Carina was in second grade. Tom Hallman Jr.,, "The dream that ended with a guide dog and a bakery: Tom Hallman," 20 May 2018 Though spurred by environmental concerns — rivers choked with toxic chemicals, local children with high levels of lead in their blood — Beijing’s move also seems emblematic of its increasing self-sufficiency and growing rejection of the West. New York Times, "E-Waste Offers an Economic Opportunity as Well as Toxicity," 5 July 2018 Money raised helps assist vulnerable neighbors work toward self-sufficiency. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "31 ways to actually celebrate the Fourth of July on July 4th," 2 July 2018

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

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Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

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

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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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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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