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[in-suh-fish-uh nt] /ˌɪn səˈfɪʃ ənt/
not sufficient; lacking in what is necessary or required:
an insufficient answer.
deficient in force, quality, or amount; inadequate:
insufficient protection.
Origin of insufficient
1350-1400; Middle English < Late Latin insufficient- (stem of insufficiēns). See in-3, sufficient
Related forms
insufficiently, adverb
1. inadequate, scanty, deficient. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for insufficient
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Gotre and other maladies arising from insufficient diet have disappeared.

    In the Heart of Vosges Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • But the shock was insufficient to repel the impetus of the charge.

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • The information which Sakemba was able to give us was but little, and insufficient.

    Freeland Theodor Hertzka
  • We were only fitted with summer clothing, which was now insufficient protection.

    The Long Labrador Trail Dillon Wallace
  • Brilliant as might have been his genius, his acquirements necessarily were insufficient.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
British Dictionary definitions for insufficient


not sufficient; inadequate or deficient
Derived Forms
insufficiently, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for insufficient

late 14c., from Old French insufficient (14c.), from Latin insufficientem (nominative insufficiens) "insufficient," from in- "not, opposite of" (see in- (1)) + sufficientem (see sufficient). Originally of persons, "inadequate, unable;" of things, from late 15c. Related: Insufficiently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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insufficient in Medicine

insufficient in·suf·fi·cient (ĭn'sə-fĭsh'ənt)

  1. Not sufficient.

  2. Incapable of proper functioning.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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