[ in-suh-fish-uhnt ]
/ ˌɪn səˈfɪʃ ənt /


not sufficient; lacking in what is necessary or required: an insufficient answer.
deficient in force, quality, or amount; inadequate: insufficient protection.

Nearby words

  1. insue,
  2. insufferable,
  3. insufficiency,
  4. insufficiency disease,
  5. insufficiency of eyelids,
  6. insufflate,
  7. insufflation,
  8. insufflation anesthesia,
  9. insula,
  10. insulant

Origin of insufficient

1350–1400; Middle English < Late Latin insufficient- (stem of insufficiēns). See in-3, sufficient

Related formsin·suf·fi·cient·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for insufficient

British Dictionary definitions for insufficient


/ (ˌɪnsəˈfɪʃənt) /


not sufficient; inadequate or deficient
Derived Formsinsufficiently, 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

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

Medicine definitions for insufficient


[ ĭn′sə-fĭshənt ]


Not sufficient.
Incapable of proper functioning.

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