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See more synonyms for adequate on Thesaurus.com
  1. as much or as good as necessary for some requirement or purpose; fully sufficient, suitable, or fit (often followed by to or for): This car is adequate to our needs. adequate food for fifty people.
  2. barely sufficient or suitable: Being adequate is not good enough.
  3. Law. reasonably sufficient for starting legal action: adequate grounds.
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Origin of adequate

1610–20; < Latin adaequātus matched (past participle of adaequāre). See ad-, equal, -ate1
Related formsad·e·quate·ly, adverbad·e·quate·ness, nounpre·ad·e·quate, adjectivepre·ad·e·quate·ly, adverbpre·ad·e·quate·ness, nounqua·si-ad·e·quate, adjectivequa·si-ad·e·quate·ly, adverbsu·per·ad·e·quate, adjectivesu·per·ad·e·quate·ly, adverbsu·per·ad·e·quate·ness, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for adequateness

Historical Examples

  • For the object must be given in experience, and the question relates to the adequateness of the object to an idea.

    The Critique of Pure Reason

    Immanuel Kant

British Dictionary definitions for adequateness


  1. able to fulfil a need or requirement without being abundant, outstanding, etc
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Derived Formsadequacy (ˈædɪkwəsɪ), nounadequately, adverb

Word Origin

C17: from Latin adaequāre to equalize, from ad- to + aequus equal
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

Word Origin and History for adequateness



1610s, from Latin adaequatus "equalized," past participle of adaequare "to make equal to," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + aequare "make level," from aequus (see equal). The sense is of being "equal to what is required." Related: Adequateness.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper