in·​ad·​e·​quate | \ (ˌ)i-ˈna-di-kwət How to pronounce inadequate (audio) \

Definition of inadequate

: not adequate : not enough or good enough : insufficient inadequate equipment also : not capable was inadequate as a leader

Other Words from inadequate

inadequately adverb
inadequateness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for inadequate



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Examples of inadequate in a Sentence

These supplies are inadequate to meet our needs. We were given very inadequate information. I felt inadequate to the task. Her brother's success and popularity always made her feel inadequate.
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Recent Examples on the Web But an antiquated, and inadequate, reimbursement scheme based on disability income is forcing many to close. Doug Smith Senior Writer, Los Angeles Times, 28 Nov. 2021 Eventually, an inconsistent or inadequate client experience will result in lower profit margins as the firm becomes less competitive in attracting and retaining high-value client relationships. Ron Carson, Forbes, 15 Nov. 2021 But in an email, Pollitz said under the current rules, people who are offered a company plan are not eligible for ACA subsidies unless their insurance is unaffordable or inadequate. NBC News, 6 Nov. 2021 But The Washington Post reported in 2019 that some found Lyft’s response to reports of misconduct inadequate and dismissive, feeling their concerns were not seriously addressed. Washington Post, 22 Oct. 2021 This is both calming in its simplicity and probably also alarmingly inadequate for large scale change. Alli Harvey, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Oct. 2021 Premature endorsement of incomplete and inadequate targets is the wrong approach. Brook K. Baker Reprints, STAT, 25 Sep. 2021 For those of us who, eight years before 9/11, started battling against the jihad in our earnest but inadequate way, there is no avoiding a profound sense of failure. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, 11 Sep. 2021 The company operated machinery with missing or inadequate guarding and improperly stored flammable liquids, the agency said Thursday in a statement. Alexander Coolidge, The Enquirer, 10 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inadequate.' 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 inadequate

1671, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for inadequate

Time Traveler

The first known use of inadequate was in 1671

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Dictionary Entries Near inadequate



in a different league

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Statistics for inadequate

Last Updated

2 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inadequate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for inadequate



English Language Learners Definition of inadequate

: not enough or not good enough : not adequate


in·​ad·​e·​quate | \ i-ˈna-di-kwət How to pronounce inadequate (audio) \

Kids Definition of inadequate

: not enough or not good enough an inadequate supply an inadequate excuse


in·​ad·​e·​quate | \ -i-kwət How to pronounce inadequate (audio) \

Medical Definition of inadequate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : not adequate : deficient an inadequate dose inadequate perfusion inadequate diets
2 : lacking the capacity for psychological maturity or adequate social adjustment an inadequate personality

Other Words from inadequate

inadequately adverb



Medical Definition of inadequate (Entry 2 of 2)

: one who is inadequate especially in terms of social adjustment

More from Merriam-Webster on inadequate

Nglish: Translation of inadequate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inadequate for Arabic Speakers


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