Definition of insufficient in English:



  • Not enough; inadequate.

    ‘there was insufficient evidence to convict him’
    • ‘My offence, so far as I could tell, was to show insufficient respect to cabinet ministers.’
    • ‘The plant could then be converted for other uses, seeing as there is insufficient demand for Rover cars.’
    • ‘These causes might be anything from insufficient training to inadequate technology.’
    • ‘It strikes me as incredible that insufficient thought and planning was given to such a major activity.’
    • ‘Anything less and he would have insufficient time to settle into the job.’
    • ‘Have houses prices too low, and there'll be insufficient investment in the area.’
    • ‘Now they have been informed that beds are available but staffing levels are insufficient to take him.’
    • ‘It is thought the amount of smoke created would also have been insufficient to cause the man's death.’
    • ‘He was charged with murder in 1997 but the case was dropped due to insufficient evidence.’
    • ‘The report found many examples of good work but said insufficient priority was being given to the issue.’
    • ‘It's caused by an insufficient level of insulin, a glucose regulating hormone.’
    • ‘The only complaint about the Royal Bolton is insufficient parking facilities!’
    • ‘I think the amount of police officers is insufficient, I think we need loads more.’
    • ‘Greig added that some minor roads in rural areas might have to be shut down if there are insufficient funds to fix them.’
    • ‘That was arguably too prescriptive and pedagogic with insufficient human interest.’
    • ‘However, that leaves insufficient time to organise live coverage for Saturday.’
    • ‘In military terms, striking at insurgents and terrorists is necessary but insufficient.’
    • ‘So far there has been insufficient evidence to link financially any of the visits to a particular member.’
    • ‘However a review document produced by the group warns that current funding is insufficient.’
    • ‘Tough laws are insufficient to find a solution to such a terrible scourge.’
    inadequate, not enough, too little
    too few, too small, deficient, poor, scant, scanty
    scarce, sparse, short, in short supply, at a premium
    lacking, wanting
    paltry, meagre, niggardly
    skimpy, sketchy, incomplete, restricted, limited
    measly, pathetic, piddling
    View synonyms


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘incapable, incompetent’): via Old French from late Latin insufficient- not sufficing, from in- not + Latin sufficere (see suffice).