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 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 But then the opponent will have to counter these adjustments; so the self-sufficiency and problem solving still exists., "Mailbag: Petra Kvitova Is the Best Story in Tennis Right Now, and Maybe in All of Sports," 16 May 2018 Catholic Charities Atlanta helps local refugees achieve economic and social self-sufficiency within their first six months in the country. Fiza Pirani, ajc, "How to help refugees around Atlanta and beyond," 20 June 2018 The move appears to have strengthened China’s resolve to continue its drive for self-sufficiency and to curb imports in various high-tech fields. Keith Bradsher, New York Times, "U.S.-China Trade Talks End With Strong Demands, but Few Signs of a Deal," 4 May 2018 The government lays down strict protocols for their adjustment to self-sufficiency: A couple has eight months in which to learn English and each find a job. Eve Macsweeney, Vogue, "In This Is Home, a Glimpse at the Reality of Life as a Resettled Refugee in the U.S.," 22 June 2018 The announcement of the program follows Carson’s proposal to raise rents for millions of Americans who live in public housing as a path to self-sufficiency by pushing more people to find work. Nicholas Deshais, The Seattle Times, "Spokane picked by HUD for initiative aimed at helping the poor off federal aid," 9 June 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

18 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for sufficiency

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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evasion of direct action or statement

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