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From Middle English suffisen, from Middle French souffire, from Latin sufficiō (supply, be adequate), from sub (under) + faciō (do, make). Cognate with French suffire.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /səˈfaɪs/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪs


suffice (third-person singular simple present suffices, present participle sufficing, simple past and past participle sufficed)

  1. (intransitive) To be enough or sufficient; to meet the need (of anything); to be adequate; to be good enough.
    For this plum cake, two eggs should suffice.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book VII”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker [] [a]nd by Robert Boulter [] [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      To recount almighty works, / What words or tongue of seraph can suffice?
  2. (transitive) To satisfy; to content; to be equal to the wants or demands of.
    A joint of lamb sufficed even his enormous appetite.
    • 1838, The Church of England quarterly review (page 203)
      Lord Brougham's salary would have sufficed more than ninety Prussian judges.
  3. To furnish; to supply adequately.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Commonly used in the phrase suffice it to say.
  • Mostly used in modal verb constructions, such as: Half a loaf per day will suffice. This is much more common than the direct form Half a loaf per day suffices.


Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading[edit]






  1. second-person singular present active imperative of sufficiō