Definition of suffice in English:



[no object]
  • 1Be enough or adequate.

    ‘a quick look should suffice’
    with infinitive ‘two examples should suffice to prove the contention’
    • ‘Some very recent examples will suffice to persuade us that piety and knavery are incompatible.’
    • ‘The time you have spent in prison suffices as punishment enough.’
    • ‘The Highwayman's Case suffices as a colourful example.’
    • ‘My handwriting was adequate for everyday purposes, my avocado green IBM Selectric sufficed for more formal projects, and I happily received my mail through the post office.’
    • ‘Through all this he lived in the College too, in a single small room that sufficed for his bachelor requirements.’
    • ‘A hypothetical example should suffice in illustrating how worrying a precedent this case may have set.’
    • ‘I think a diet rich in fruit and veg should suffice to obtain enough of these nutrients.’
    • ‘That sufficed for terrestrial physics, and Galileo did not speculate about celestial physics as did Kepler.’
    • ‘But Babu sees more in life than the praise, gratitude, and $7-a-day wages that have sufficed for more traditional Sherpas.’
    • ‘The story isn't exactly groundbreaking, but suffices well enough: A prosecutor puts a big drug dealer behind bars and his henchmen want to kill her and her co-counsel for revenge.’
    • ‘The reasons are simply too vast to list, but one example should suffice.’
    • ‘Luckily enough, this will suffice as our reference guide for both.’
    • ‘Missing data complicates the interpretation, but it suffices as an example.’
    • ‘The plaintiff's oral evidence will suffice, if it proves clearly what was the intention of the parties.’
    • ‘That sufficed for a while - but only a little while - because after Linda first saw a garden composed of native plants, she became a convert.’
    • ‘Later, when the Muslims enjoyed their share of the produce of Khaybar, the Prophet used to give his family imperishable provisions that sufficed for a year.’
    • ‘Therefore to prove Theorem 9 it suffices to show that each polygonal base of the prism has area equal to one-fourth the lateral surface area of the prism.’
    • ‘One example from Chinese suffices to illustrate this point.’
    • ‘A real-world example suffices to illustrate why I believe this is of vital importance today.’
    • ‘The traditional public religion of the Roman State had sufficed for public purposes, but offered little to the individual.’
    be enough, be sufficient, be adequate, do, serve, meet requirements, satisfy demands, answer one's needs, fulfil one's needs, meet one's needs, answer the purpose, serve the purpose, pass muster
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Meet the needs of.
      ‘simple mediocrity cannot suffice them’
      • ‘These will suffice them in place of all other things, as they receive into themselves him who is the cause and the bestower of all blessing.’
      • ‘A small cheque in the post, by way of consultancy fee, will suffice Brian.’
      • ‘A letter usually suffices the requirements, providing it meets the above criteria.’
      • ‘It suffices them that He does it through them, appoints them as its guards and entrusts it to them.’
      • ‘At first, a stepladder sufficed us, but soon an aluminum extension ladder was required for the higher fruit picking.’
      • ‘There were four of them, all a good size, and you could see how they would easily suffice two people sharing.’
      • ‘So now he backs off, and suffices himself with rubbing his hand roughly along my inner thigh.’
      • ‘A simple one sentence answer would have sufficed the patient but the doctor just could not keep his explanation concise.’
      • ‘His hands could only get a fallen feather which would only suffice him for a short while.’
      • ‘Web sites have come along way from the days when a few lines of HTML would suffice any designer.’
      • ‘Thus the simple chanting and praying of the early days could not have sufficed the new extended demands.’
      • ‘The town had few amenities but they sufficed the local population.’
      • ‘This serves as a starting point, but it hardly suffices the team as an analytical guide or policy directive.’


  • suffice (it) to say

    • Used to indicate that one is saying enough to make one's meaning clear while withholding something for reasons of discretion or brevity.

      ‘suffice it to say that they were not considered suitable for this project’
      • ‘I won't go into detail, suffice to say that when you put a lock through the brake disc to slow down thieves, it is best removed before riding away.’
      • ‘I shall draw a discreet veil over the rest of that day but suffice it to say that a jolly time was had by all.’
      • ‘Now don't ask us what that means, suffice to say, everyone, the award-winners included, had great time that evening.’
      • ‘Let it suffice to say that in our land, whatever the reason, a warrior carries two swords at his belt.’
      • ‘This is not the week to speculate on who will go and who will stay but suffice to say that there will be a considerable number of new faces at the showgrounds next season.’
      • ‘I think I've already complained in great detail about the coverage, so suffice to say, I won't be sleeping tonight.’
      • ‘In the meantime, suffice to say that all those ‘lady’ birds earn their keep by laying oodles of eggs for Farmer Brown.’
      • ‘I don't need to know why Mom calls him that, suffice to say she has her reasons.’
      • ‘There are many reasons why the high-rise flats of Glasgow and other cities failed, but suffice to say, people are not that fond of living in them.’
      • ‘In fact, I don't think it would be appropriate, but suffice to say there's now a large number of inquiries that we'll have to make.’


Middle English: from Old French suffis-, stem of suffire, from Latin sufficere ‘put under, meet the need of’, from sub- ‘under’ + facere ‘make’.