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From Middle French insufficient, from Latin insufficiens. See also in- +‎ sufficient.


  • IPA(key): /ɪnsəˈfɪʃənt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪʃənt
  • Hyphenation: in‧suf‧fi‧cient



  1. An inadequate quantity of; not enough.
    Insufficient time is available to reflect on the problem.
  2. (as pronoun) A quantity (of something) that is less than is needed.
    Insufficient of the building remains to determine its age.


insufficient (comparative more insufficient, superlative most insufficient)

  1. Not sufficient; of a type or kind that does not suffice, that does not satisfy requirements or needs.
    It is a necessary condition but an insufficient one.
  2. Not sufficient; lacking competent power or ability; unqualified, unequal, unfit.
    • c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. [] The First Part [], 2nd edition, part 1, London: [] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, [], published 1592, →OCLC; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire, London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, (please specify the page):
      Brother Coſroe, I find my ſelfe agreeu’d,
      Yet inſufficient to expreſſe the ſame:
      For it requires a great and thundering ſpeech: []


Derived terms[edit]


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