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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 insufficiently
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "A friend of ours did think that it is insufficiently reinsured," said Margaret.

    Howards End E. M. Forster
  • Another returned it insufficiently stamped, and there was fourpence to pay.

    A Great Man Arnold Bennett
  • She had been insufficiently clad in winter, too heavily clad in summer.

    Mary Gray Katharine Tynan
  • Indeed the whole character of Jane is insufficiently presented.

  • Of the 'Apollo' it is argued that it is insufficiently modelled.

    Ave Roma Immortalis, Vol. 2 Francis Marion Crawford
British Dictionary definitions for insufficiently


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 insufficiently



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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insufficiently 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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