Origin of enough

before 900; Middle English enogh, Old English genōh; cognate with German genug, Gothic ganohs, Old Norse nōgr; akin to Old English geneah it suffices, Sanskrit naśati (he) reaches

Synonyms for enough

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for enough

Contemporary Examples of enough

Historical Examples of enough

  • "There's enough like that kind, though," interrupted Uncle Peter.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • "That'll be enough for us, unless you are very hungry," said Robert.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • There was not enough food in the valley for both the old inhabitants and the newcomers.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • Often enough these innovations were not due to the cleverness of man's brain.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • This was enough to make them traitors in the eyes of the Egyptians.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

British Dictionary definitions for enough



  1. sufficient to answer a need, demand, supposition, or requirement; adequateenough cake
  2. (as pronoun)enough is now known
that's enough! that will do: used to put an end to an action, speech, performance, etc


so as to be adequate or sufficient; as much as necessaryyou have worked hard enough
(not used with a negative) very or quite; rathershe was pleased enough to see me
(intensifier)oddly enough; surprisingly enough
just adequately; tolerablyhe did it well enough

Word Origin for enough

Old English genōh; related to Old Norse gnōgr, Gothic ganōhs, Old High German ginuog
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 enough

c.1300, from Old English genog, a common Germanic formation (cf. Old Saxon ginog, Old Frisian enoch, Dutch genoeg, Old High German ginuog, German genug, Old Norse gnogr, Gothic ganohs).

This is a compound of ge- "with, together" (also a participial, collective, intensive, or perfective prefix) + root -nah, from PIE *nek- "reach, attain" (cf. Sanskrit asnoti "reaches," Hittite ninikzi "lifts, raises," Lithuanian nešti "to bear, carry," Latin nancisci "to obtain").

It is the most prominent among the surviving examples of Old English ge-, the equivalent of Latin com- and Modern German ge-, from PIE *kom- "beside, near, by, with" (see com-).

Meaning "moderately, fairly, tolerably" (good enough) was in Middle English. Understated sense of have had enough "have had too much" was in Old English (which relied heavily on double negatives and understatement). Colloquial 'nough said is attested from 1839.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with enough


In addition to the idioms beginning with enough

  • enough is enough
  • enough rope, give someone
  • enough said
  • enough to sink a ship

also see:

  • fair enough
  • had enough
  • leave well enough alone
  • not enough room to swing a cat
  • sure enough
  • (enough) to wake the dead
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.