Definition of insufficiency in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The condition of being insufficient.

    ‘insufficiency of adequate housing’
    [count noun] ‘there have been demands to redress such insufficiencies’
    • ‘Life under any conditions is filled with idiotic excursions, false goals, prodigal waste, disappointed loves, galling personal insufficiencies, half-witted associations.’
    • ‘Because users experience breakdowns and insufficiencies of an environment in their work, they should be able to report, react to, and resolve those problems.’
    • ‘The National Institute for the Scientific Study of Peace would redress that insufficiency.’
    • ‘With the rising incidence and therapeutic insufficiencies, it is now more apparent that asthma is first and foremost a very heterogeneous syndrome, with numerous cell types and mediators contributing to the disease phenotype.’
    • ‘He defended German culture against its political appropriation by the Prussian and Austrian regimes, but criticized its insufficiencies, in Goethe, for example, who remained enthralled to the metaphysical tradition.’
    • ‘Under abnormal conditions there is an excess or insufficiency of either yin or yang which leads to the occurrence of disease.’
    • ‘Along with such developments, Valéry also addresses the question of the insufficiencies of literature stating among other things that ‘nothing has been written about love.’’
    • ‘He had a good heart, and treated me well, and his insufficiencies made him seem just as normal as anyone else.’
    • ‘Kay's suggestion, while neither shocking nor groundbreaking, leaves several questions unanswered and fails to overcome the insufficiencies of the homiletics he critiques.’
    • ‘This tradition, through sheer insufficiency, necessarily focuses attention and nurtures the greatest expertise at the company level and below.’
    • ‘I'm sorry, I forgot about exact data, but most of all attempts to shop online fail, mostly because of technical insufficiencies on the dealer side.’
    • ‘This may be due largely to their abstention from any aggressive interviewing, analysis of what has been said, or critique of the commune's insufficiencies.’
    • ‘The Chinese team demonstrated a fundamental professional insufficiency, and worse than this, they never bothered to play at anything more than half-steam.’
    • ‘Too often, our politicians disparage Europe and impute to it evils - like unemployment - that are really the result of domestic insufficiencies.’
    • ‘They should listen to and correct the players' insufficiencies.’
    • ‘Its imperfections are what made it so beautiful, and while the insufficiencies were annoying and sometimes threatening, they're what made the happiness so much more enjoyable.’
    • ‘The decision to completely replace the roof in 1998 was made after getting roofer Kendall's advice, who advised that it would be cheaper and better to just redo the whole roof rather than to repair the insufficiencies.’
    • ‘Even when greatly appreciating the works, he deftly pinpoints the internal inconsistencies (if any) or the insufficiencies of their arguments or presentations.’
    • ‘We can all build constructive, and ever more fulfilling ways of life by learning to constantly identify our fears and insufficiencies and then taking concrete, corrective action.’
    • ‘We Christians are free to view existence as we choose, to determine if life's insufficiencies are or are not blessings from God.’
    lack, inadequacy, shortage, want, dearth, deficit, shortfall
    scarcity, scarceness, scantiness, paucity, absence, undersupply, sparseness, deprivation, meagreness, shortness
    exiguity, exiguousness
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Medicine The inability of an organ to perform its normal function.
      ‘renal insufficiency’
      • ‘No specific dosage adjustments are recommended for patients with hepatic or renal insufficiency because of the drug's minimal systemic absorption.’
      • ‘Hormonal factors appear to play a conflicting role in the regulation of salt and water balance under conditions of pulmonary insufficiency.’
      • ‘As with other oral contraceptives, this product is contraindicated in women who have renal or hepatic insufficiency.’
      • ‘Methylergonovine should be used with caution, if at all, in patients with cardiac or peripheral vascular disease, or hepatic or renal insufficiency.’
      • ‘A person who has adrenal insufficiency should always carry identification stating the condition in case of an emergency.’


Early 16th century (in the sense ‘incompetence, inability’): from late Latin insufficientia, from in- not + Latin sufficere be sufficient.