Sufficient - Definition, Meaning & Synonyms (2023)

If you have a sufficient amount of something, it's enough — not too much, not too little, just right. Goldilocks would be pleased.

Sufficient comes from a Latin verb meaning "to meet the need." If something is sufficient it has met, or satisfied, a need. Enough is often used as a synonym for sufficient, and when something is not sufficient, it is too little to take care of what's needed. Sufficient can, however, also suggest just enough and not an abundance, as in "the money was sufficient for groceries, but we needed more to fill the gas tank."

Definitions of sufficient

  1. adjective

    of a quantity that can fulfill a need or requirement but without being abundant

    sufficient food”


    more than enough in size or scope or capacity

    adequate, decent, enough

    sufficient for the purpose


    sufficient to provide comfort

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    deficient, insufficient

    of a quantity not able to fulfill a need or requirement

    meager, meagerly, meagre, scrimpy, stingy

    deficient in amount or quality or extent

    depleted, low

    no longer sufficient

    inadequate, poor, short

    not sufficient to meet a need

    lean, skimpy

    containing little excess

    light, scant, short

    less than the correct or legal or full amount often deliberately so



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What does sufficient mean? ›

sufficient. adjective. suf·​fi·​cient. : enough to meet the needs under the law of a situation or a proposed end.

Is sufficient and enough the same? ›

Enough is often used as a synonym for sufficient, and when something is not sufficient, it is too little to take care of what's needed. Sufficient can, however, also suggest just enough and not an abundance, as in "the money was sufficient for groceries, but we needed more to fill the gas tank."

What is the full meaning of enough? ›

adverb. 1. : in or to a degree or quantity that satisfies or that is sufficient or necessary for satisfaction : sufficiently. : fully, quite. he is qualified enough for the position.

What is an example of sufficient? ›

A brisk walk is sufficient to raise your heart rate. There must be sufficient funds in your bank account to cover the check. Her explanation was not sufficient to satisfy the police.

What does fully sufficient mean? ›

adjective. 1. enough to meet a need or purpose; adequate.

How do you use enough and sufficient? ›

Enough (where the second syllable is pronounced as in puff or stuff) and sufficient are very similar semantically, meaning as much as is needed: I don't have enough time to finish reading this report before the meeting. But I have sufficient information to know what the outcome should be.

How much enough is enough meaning? ›

used to say that one wants something to stop because one can no longer accept or deal with it. I don't mind lending her a bit of money now and then, but enough is enough!

Is it okay to say sufficient enough? ›

'Sufficient enough' is redundant. Consider using only sufficient. that this rule can detect: The money is sufficient enough to buy the pullover.

Which word is a synonym of sufficient? ›

Some common synonyms of sufficient are adequate, competent, and enough.

What kind of word is enough? ›

Enough is a determiner, a pronoun or an adverb. We use enough to mean 'as much as we need or want'.

What is more than enough called? ›

What does ample mean? Ample means enough—sufficient or adequate. It can also mean more than enough—plentiful or abundant.

What is more than sufficient? ›

Some common synonyms of plentiful are abundant, ample, and copious. While all these words mean "more than sufficient without being excessive," plentiful implies a great or rich supply.

What is a good sentence for enough? ›

[M] [T] He had barely enough to eat. [M] [T] She isn't good enough for him. [M] [T] He is old enough to drive a car. [M] [T] He is old enough to travel alone.

What word means not enough? ›

1 inadequate, scanty, deficient.

How do you know if something is sufficient? ›

Here are two important things you need to know about sufficient conditions:
  1. A sufficient condition, if met, guarantees another event with no exceptions. ...
  2. A sufficient condition is not necessary for that event to happen, since there could be many other conditions that are also sufficient for the resulting event to happen.

Is sufficient a positive word? ›

(formal) If something is sufficient, it means there is enough or that it is good enough. We now have a sufficient number of people to do the job.

What is the root word of sufficient? ›

sufficient (adj.)

early 14c., from Old French soficient "satisfactory," or directly from Latin sufficientem (nominative sufficiens) "adequate," present participle of sufficere "to supply as a substitute," from sub "up to" (see sub-) + combining form of facere "to make, to do" (from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put").

What is the opposite of sufficient? ›

OPPOSITES FOR sufficient

1 meager, scant, inadequate.

What is the difference between adequate and sufficient and enough? ›

If something is adequate, there is enough of it, but only just enough. If there is sufficient quantity of something, this suggests that there is as much of it as you need. Usage of these adjectives often means quantity rather than quality, whereas appropriate and suitable suggest a qualitative response to something.

At what point do we say enough is enough? ›

You can say "enough is enough" if you think someone shouldn't do something because they've done it too many times already, or because they've been doing it for too long.

At what point do you say enough is enough? ›

One way to know when enough is enough in a relationship is if you realize that your partner does not value you. When couples value each other, their mutual love and respect become stronger. If your partner values you, they will always seek your consent on crucial matters.

What is enough in life? ›

It's an acknowledgement that you have everything you need in this moment, and that you have the capability to meet your future needs. The concept of “enough” allows you to be happy right now. Not when you get a new job, or lose weight, or find a partner.

Is enough a negative? ›

Enough is used in negative sentences to mean less than sufficient or less than necessary. You're not working fast enough, you won't finish on time. Sorry, I haven't got enough food for everyone. Not enough of my friends are coming to the party.

What is opposite of enough enough? ›

Opposite of a sufficient amount of. insufficient. inadequate. limited. little.

Is enough a negative word? ›

As an adverb, enough means in a degree that is satisfactory. This sense is often used in the negative to mean something failed to meet expectations or was insufficient.

What comes before enough? ›

enough comes after verbs.

What does the Bible say about sufficient? ›

Reflections: God's grace is sufficient

The word for this week is sufficient. Sufficient, as is “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” That was what God said to Paul after Paul asked Him three times to remove his thorn in the flesh.

What does all sufficient mean in the Bible? ›

The sufficiency of the All Sufficient God therefore is the adequacy of the provisions of the Lord God Almighty that can never be exhausted or run dry. He is the God who is more than enough to adequately handle all the needs of all His creatures without running short of supply.

What does more than enough mean in the Bible? ›

Genesis 17:1-2 NIV. The Hebrew word for God Almighty is El Shaddai – the God who is more than enough – more than sufficient. It means that He has the power to complete promises of blessings and prosperity.

What is a good sentence for sufficient? ›

How to use Sufficient in a sentence. There is commonly sufficient space about us. One reading was sufficient to stamp every detail of the story upon my memory forever. If she was ever going to learn to be totally self sufficient, she was going to have to take control of her life.

What does sufficient work mean? ›

Doing work sufficiently means getting the job done without going above or beyond. Doing something sufficiently is still much better than doing it insufficiently, which is never enough.


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