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[ad-i-kwit] /ˈæd ɪ kwɪt/
as much or as good as necessary for some requirement or purpose; fully sufficient, suitable, or fit (often followed by to or for):
This car is adequate to our needs. adequate food for fifty people.
barely sufficient or suitable:
Being adequate is not good enough.
Law. reasonably sufficient for starting legal action:
adequate grounds.
Origin of adequate
1610-20; < Latin adaequātus matched (past participle of adaequāre). See ad-, equal, -ate1
Related forms
adequately, adverb
adequateness, noun
preadequate, adjective
preadequately, adverb
preadequateness, noun
quasi-adequate, adjective
quasi-adequately, adverb
superadequate, adjective
superadequately, adverb
superadequateness, noun
1. satisfactory, competent, sufficient, enough; capable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for adequate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Thus school knowledge frequently fails to function to an adequate degree in the practical affairs of life.

  • There can be no achievement in the struggle for existence without an adequate force.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • By text-book we do not mean a formal school-book, but a book with a clear method, a capital style, and adequate information.

    Girls and Women Harriet E. Paine (AKA E. Chester}
  • Evidently they had no adequate government or administration of justice.

    Folkways William Graham Sumner
  • The paramount problem in highway administration is the development of an adequate financial plan for carrying on road improvement.

British Dictionary definitions for adequate


able to fulfil a need or requirement without being abundant, outstanding, etc
Derived Forms
adequacy (ˈædɪkwəsɪ) noun
adequately, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from Latin adaequāre to equalize, from ad- to + aequusequal
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for adequate

1610s, from Latin adaequatus "equalized," past participle of adaequare "to make equal to," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + aequare "make level," from aequus (see equal). The sense is of being "equal to what is required." Related: Adequateness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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