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 The transitional housing program for homeless male veterans assists them in gaining greater self-sufficiency, including finding and maintaining permanent housing. Brian Lisik, cleveland, "Brunswick Eagle Scout project reaches out to veterans," 13 Nov. 2019 That’s because the wealthier southeast operates under an illusion of self-sufficiency, said Luiz Novoa, a professor at the Federal University of Rondonia who leads a research group on Amazon territories. Washington Post, "Brazil’s Amazon mega-dam: broken promises for distant power," 18 Dec. 2019 As daunting as a moon launch is, NASA’s eventual goal of a trek to Mars would require construction of a lunar base requiring self-sufficiency and the ability to develop the moon’s resources for the weekslong trip to the red planet. Stephen Singer,, "As NASA plans a return to trip to the moon, these 2 Connecticut companies will help astronauts get there," 18 Nov. 2019 Self-sufficiency and thoroughness are hallmarks of the veteran winter camper., "Cozying up to Old Man Winter - The Boston Globe," 27 Nov. 2019 The current bridge has a sufficiency rating of 7.6 out of 100 by the National Bridge Inventory. Sara Sneath, ProPublica, "Chemical Companies Are Building Their Plants Overseas and Shipping Them Back In. They Still Get State Tax Breaks.," 6 Dec. 2019 Instead of considering just the federal poverty level, the commission also used something called a self-sufficiency standard. oregonlive, "More than 260,000 Multnomah County residents struggle to afford basic needs; people of color hardest hit by far, report finds," 4 Dec. 2019 Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services’ mission is to enable homeless and low-income people in Laurel who are in crisis to achieve stability and long-term self-sufficiency. Katie V. Jones,, "Share Your Blessings: How you can help those in need in Laurel," 27 Nov. 2019 The Connecticut Self-Sufficiency Standard Report, released by the Connecticut Office of Health Care Strategy and state Comptroller Kevin Lembo, finds that 44% to 48% of Connecticut households are below the self-sufficiency standard. USA TODAY, "Art against incarceration, glacial melt that could hurt a fly: News from around our 50 states," 22 Nov. 2019

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

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sufficiency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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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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