adjective suf·fi·cient \ sə-ˈfi-shənt \
|Updated on: 11 Jul 2018

Definition of sufficient

1 a : enough to meet the needs of a situation or a proposed end
  • sufficient provisions for a month
b : being a sufficient condition
2 archaic : qualified, competent



Examples of sufficient in a Sentence

  1. Considering that John Adams was notoriously insecure about his own place in history, he surely would have enjoyed his current renown. He and Abigail get pride of place in the family crypt, down a winding staircase in the church basement. On her plaque in the crypt, she is described as a "model of domestic worth," as though she were a particularly charming chifforobe, and not a woman who survived a troubled marriage with sufficient courage that both houses of Congress adjourned upon hearing of her death. —Charles P. PierceBoston Globe Magazine26 July 2009
  2. Because canines are, for the most part, unable to naturally manufacture sufficient vitamins to meet their daily requirements, a dog's routinely consumed meals, with some exceptions, must be augmented with them during the manufacturing process. —Tom EwingDog WatchFebruary 2009
  3. And since this policy is usually accompanied by a pledge to provide sufficient scholarship funds to admitted applicants who cannot afford the full cost (around $45,000 in the Ivy League today), it is an expensive policy. —Andrew DelbancoNew York Review of Books29 Mar. 2007
  4. The result was a magnificent example of evidence overkill—the first set of prints alone was sufficient to match the gangbanger to a set in the national Automated Fingerprint Identification System database. —Jessica Snyder SachsPopular ScienceMarch 2004
  5. A brisk walk is sufficient to raise your heart rate.

  6. There must be sufficient funds in your bank account to cover the check.

  7. Her explanation was not sufficient to satisfy the police.

Recent Examples of sufficient from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sufficient.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of sufficient

Middle English, from Latin sufficient-, sufficiens, from present participle of sufficere — see suffice

Synonym Discussion of sufficient

sufficient, enough, adequate, competent mean being what is necessary or desirable. sufficient suggests a close meeting of a need.
    • sufficient savings
enough is less exact in suggestion than sufficient.
    • do you have enough food?
adequate may imply barely meeting a requirement.
    • the service was adequate
competent suggests measuring up to all requirements without question or being adequately adapted to an end.
    • had no competent notion of what was going on

SUFFICIENT Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of sufficient for English Language Learners

  • : having or providing as much as is needed

SUFFICIENT Defined for Kids


adjective suf·fi·cient \ sə-ˈfi-shənt \

Definition of sufficient for Students

: enough to achieve a goal or fill a need
  • sufficient evidence



Law Dictionary


adjective suf·fi·cient

legal Definition of sufficient

: enough to meet the needs under the law of a situation or a proposed end



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