Definition of sufficiency in US English:



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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After the mid-1980s, however, serious questions were raised about the adequacy and sufficiency of frameworks of general principles.’
    • ‘Australia's volunteer blood donors are everyday heroes whose goodwill and commitment underpin the safety and sufficiency of Australia's blood supply.’
    • ‘Saint Kitts and Nevis have good health care with a sufficiency of doctors who are usually British or Canadian trained.’
    • ‘The main body of the paper will be taken up with elucidation and argument for the necessity and sufficiency of these conditions.’
    • ‘Keep in mind, because the standard of evidence for a preliminary hearing or probable-cause hearing is sufficiency of the evidence.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Thus, where brownfield sites do not provide such supply, a sufficiency of greenfield sites should be identified.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Duration can be evaluated according to its adequacy or sufficiency.’
    • ‘The values that might be confounded with equality include sufficiency, priority, and desert.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With these requisites in place, women, men and children have an opportunity to develop a true spiritual life of sufficiency, contentment and gratitude.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In Catalonia, a place perhaps more used to wealth than Ireland, food portions aspire towards delicate sufficiency.’
    • ‘A brand new Social Security Act that reformed our whole social welfare system on principles of simplicity, sufficiency and universality.’
    • ‘By ‘living well’, however, Cobbett meant sufficiency and no more.’
    ease, freedom from hardship, repose, relaxation, serenity, tranquillity, contentment, content, well-being, cosiness, enjoyment
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    1. 1.1in singular An adequate amount of something, especially of something essential.
      ‘a sufficiency of good food’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘PPG4 advises that planning authorities should aim to ensure both a sufficiency of employment land and a variety of sites to meet differing needs.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This raises the question of how primates are able to locate a sufficiency of ripe fruits each day.’
      • ‘There is a growing awareness that vitamin D sufficiency is required for optimal health.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We should take care of the natural world, provide material sufficiency for all and ensure social equality.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In contrast, economic sufficiency emerged as a significant theme when the adolescents were asked to describe their ideal lives.’
      • ‘Additionally there is not a sufficiency of protection from the state.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A common expectation is that poor adolescents would place more emphasis on economic sufficiency in their ideal lives.’
      • ‘It is plain to me that there is a sufficiency of state protection available to this appellant should she be returned to Albania.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He had a sufficiency of means to gratify every lawful wish, and never knew anything of real poverty.’
      • ‘The Adjudicator concluded that there was a sufficiency of protection available for the Appellant in his home area.’
      • ‘Neither food sufficiency nor ecological sustainability can be achieved by exporting inappropriate western technologies.’
      acceptability, reasonableness, passableness, satisfactoriness, fairness
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    2. 1.2archaic Self-sufficiency or independence of character, especially of an arrogant or imperious sort.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’


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