adequate

adjective
ad·​e·​quate | \ ˈa-di-kwət How to pronounce adequate (audio) \

Essential Meaning of adequate

1 : enough for some need or requirement Be sure to allow adequate [=sufficient, enough] time for the paint to dry. The garden hasn't been getting adequate water. The food was more than adequate for the six of us.
2 : good enough : of a quality that is good or acceptable Millions of people lack adequate [=sufficient] health care. The school lunch should be adequate to meet the nutritional needs of growing children. See More ExamplesThe machine does an adequate job. The tent should provide adequate protection from the elements. The quality of his work was perfectly adequate.Hide : of a quality that is acceptable but not better than acceptable Your grades are adequate but I think you can do better. The quality of his work was only/merely/barely adequate.

Full Definition of adequate

1 : sufficient for a specific need or requirement adequate time an amount of money adequate to supply their needs also : good enough : of a quality that is good or acceptable a machine that does an adequate job : of a quality that is acceptable but not better than acceptable Her first performance was merely adequate.
2 : lawfully and reasonably sufficient adequate grounds for a lawsuit

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from adequate

adequateness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for adequate

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

Examples of adequate in a Sentence

Then, during the spring and summer, allow adequate recovery by taking one or two days off the bike each week and scaling back the intensity of your rides one week out of every month. — Selene Yeager, Bicycling, January/February 2008 … they are adequate for almost any computing need. — Michael Meyer, Newsweek, 26 Oct. 1998 … the government would have to bail out any bidder with less adequate resources … The Economist, 30 Aug.-5 Sept. 1986 The garden hasn't been getting adequate water. The food was more than adequate for the six of us. The school lunch should be adequate to meet the nutritional needs of growing children. The machine does an adequate job. The tent should provide adequate protection from the elements. The quality of his work was perfectly adequate. Your grades are adequate but I think you can do better. The quality of his work was only adequate.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web One such undersung complication is the way the pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity, the lack of consistent access to nutritionally adequate and safe foods. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 13 Oct. 2021 People have the right to physical, social, and economic access to safe, adequate, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and preferences. Forbes, 11 Oct. 2021 In one of his arguments for post-conviction relief, Johnson claimed he was denied the right to an adequate and effective counsel because of his lawyer's failure to interview Thomspon's neighbor, Patricia Hubbard. Virginia Barreda, USA TODAY, 9 Oct. 2021 The judges found the strategy awkward but adequate, and praised the team’s can-do spirit. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, 5 Oct. 2021 Barry Ford, president and CEO of Council for a Strong Americasaid an adequate child care system requires significant investment on the state and federal level, rather than placing the onus to fund the system on parents. Hannah Drown, cleveland, 30 Sep. 2021 Alumni also allege that the theater festival lacked an adequate system for reporting safety issues, and that its workplace culture encouraged workers to downplay both injuries and the fatigue that could lead to them. Los Angeles Times, 25 Sep. 2021 Milwaukee's County Board closed some longterm wards at the mental health complex but did not use the savings to develop safe housing or create an adequate support system. jsonline.com, 31 Aug. 2021 The hospital has space for more patients, but not adequate staffing. New York Times, 5 Aug. 2021

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

See More

First Known Use of adequate

circa 1617, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for adequate

borrowed from Latin adaequātus, past participle of adaequāre "to equalize, put on an equal footing," from ad- ad- + aequāre "to make level, equalize" — more at equate

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About adequate

Time Traveler for adequate

Time Traveler

The first known use of adequate was circa 1617

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near adequate

adequacy

adequate

adequate idea

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for adequate

Last Updated

19 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Adequate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adequate. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for adequate

adequate

adjective
ad·​e·​quate | \ ˈa-di-kwət How to pronounce adequate (audio) \

Kids Definition of adequate

1 : enough entry 1 Be sure you have adequate time to get ready.
2 : good enough The lunch provides adequate nutrition.

Other Words from adequate

adequately adverb

adequate

adjective
ad·​e·​quate

Legal Definition of adequate

: lawfully and reasonably sufficient adequate grounds for a lawsuit

More from Merriam-Webster on adequate

Nglish: Translation of adequate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adequate for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!