Definition of sufficiency in US English:


nounPlural sufficiencies

  • 1The condition or quality of being adequate or sufficient.

    • ‘The factual basis upon which a legislature decides to enact a specific provision is not governed by the rules of admissibility and sufficiency of evidence that would apply in a court of law.’
    • ‘The concentration on sufficiency thus produces a marked narrowness in the approach: It is an instrument for proof, rather than part of an open-minded search for truth.’
    • ‘The concept of perfection was thus replaced by that of mere sufficiency, and if sufficiency was achieved at a terrible cost it was not the less sufficient.’
    • ‘The values that might be confounded with equality include sufficiency, priority, and desert.’
    • ‘In Catalonia, a place perhaps more used to wealth than Ireland, food portions aspire towards delicate sufficiency.’
    • ‘But for my point of view, and I think from our industry's point of view, just like energy supply and our military sufficiency, a secure domestic food supply is a national security imperative.’
    • ‘Either way, but particularly in the less optimistic scenario, this option raises issues regarding both numerical and qualitative sufficiency for carrying out potential missions fifteen or twenty years from now.’
    • ‘After the mid-1980s, however, serious questions were raised about the adequacy and sufficiency of frameworks of general principles.’
    • ‘Saint Kitts and Nevis have good health care with a sufficiency of doctors who are usually British or Canadian trained.’
    • ‘A brand new Social Security Act that reformed our whole social welfare system on principles of simplicity, sufficiency and universality.’
    • ‘Thus, where brownfield sites do not provide such supply, a sufficiency of greenfield sites should be identified.’
    • ‘With these requisites in place, women, men and children have an opportunity to develop a true spiritual life of sufficiency, contentment and gratitude.’
    • ‘That is with respect to the date, your Honours, of sufficiency; whether it be the date of lodgement of your patent, as your Honour Justice Gummow held in the Rescare Case, or the date of publication, as some earlier cases have held.’
    • ‘Keep in mind, because the standard of evidence for a preliminary hearing or probable-cause hearing is sufficiency of the evidence.’
    • ‘By ‘living well’, however, Cobbett meant sufficiency and no more.’
    • ‘Australia's volunteer blood donors are everyday heroes whose goodwill and commitment underpin the safety and sufficiency of Australia's blood supply.’
    • ‘Duration can be evaluated according to its adequacy or sufficiency.’
    • ‘Two young men in waistcoats were there, quiet and polite, following guests around to the head of the stairs and back again, ensuring that all of the guests had a sufficiency of wine.’
    • ‘The main body of the paper will be taken up with elucidation and argument for the necessity and sufficiency of these conditions.’
    • ‘But the overall influence of laissez-faire and freedom of contract meant that, although some consideration was necessary (i.e. sufficiency of consideration), it need not be adequate.’
    ease, freedom from hardship, repose, relaxation, serenity, tranquillity, contentment, content, well-being, cosiness, enjoyment
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1in singular An adequate amount of something, especially of something essential.
      ‘a sufficiency of good food’
      • ‘We should take care of the natural world, provide material sufficiency for all and ensure social equality.’
      • ‘Defensive security is defined as a sufficiency of military and economic potentials of the state to repulse possible threats to its independence and territorial integrity.’
      • ‘In contrast, economic sufficiency emerged as a significant theme when the adolescents were asked to describe their ideal lives.’
      • ‘A common expectation is that poor adolescents would place more emphasis on economic sufficiency in their ideal lives.’
      • ‘Additionally there is not a sufficiency of protection from the state.’
      • ‘In the iron deserts of Kent, the traveler is advised to carry spare ammunition and a sufficiency of supplies, especially potable water.’
      • ‘Should it worsen further, one would have to be very concerned of how it would affect the sufficiency of liquid milk supplies, and peak processing capacity around the country, which is already stretched to breaking point.’
      • ‘PPG4 advises that planning authorities should aim to ensure both a sufficiency of employment land and a variety of sites to meet differing needs.’
      • ‘Neither food sufficiency nor ecological sustainability can be achieved by exporting inappropriate western technologies.’
      • ‘We can use these faculties to tend the planet and all its inhabitants, by means of inclusive social practices and arrangements that ensure a loving sufficiency for all.’
      • ‘The Adjudicator concluded that there was a sufficiency of protection available for the Appellant in his home area.’
      • ‘It is perfectly true, of course, that inwardness - or self-cultivation or self-overcoming or whatever you like to call it - requires a sufficiency of material goods.’
      • ‘It appears that art as an activity contributes nothing to the upkeep of the individual; it rarely obtains for him a sufficiency of money for rent and food, and does nothing to gratify sexual requirements.’
      • ‘There is a growing awareness that vitamin D sufficiency is required for optimal health.’
      • ‘This raises the question of how primates are able to locate a sufficiency of ripe fruits each day.’
      • ‘It is plain to me that there is a sufficiency of state protection available to this appellant should she be returned to Albania.’
      • ‘He had a sufficiency of means to gratify every lawful wish, and never knew anything of real poverty.’
      • ‘In addition, each of these slaves was to have ‘a portion of land allotted to him, adequate to produce, by cultivating it, a sufficiency of ground provisions for himself and his family,’ to be cultivated on Saturday afternoons out of crop.’
      • ‘Because of the rich distribution of blood vessels in the facial region, the color and luster of the complexion usually reflects the sufficiency or insufficiency of the blood supply and heart qi.’
      • ‘If the owner of the carriage is therefore responsible for the sufficiency of his carriage to his servant, he is responsible for the negligence of his coach-maker, or his harness-maker, or his coachman.’
      acceptability, reasonableness, passableness, satisfactoriness, fairness
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2archaic Self-sufficiency or independence of character, especially of an arrogant or imperious sort.
      • ‘Yet this handful of churchmen is habituated to a life of devotion, worship, and communal living that gives them a depth of character that is lacking in their secular counterparts, most of whom live in a solitary sufficiency.’
      • ‘The bakery, pharmacy, and orderliness suggest self-confidence if not sufficiency.’
      • ‘Surely, the last thing we want is to discover is that productive economic players are overtaken by a sudden sense of sufficiency.’


Late 15th century (denoting sufficient means or wealth): from late Latin sufficientia, from the verb sufficere (see suffice).