Definition of insufficient in English:



  • Not enough; inadequate.

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