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[in-ad-i-kwit] /ɪnˈæd ɪ kwɪt/
not adequate or sufficient; inept or unsuitable.
Psychiatry. ineffectual in response to emotional, social, intellectual, and physical demands in the absence of any obvious mental or physical deficiency.
1665-75; in-3 + adequate
Related forms
inadequately, adverb
1. inapt, incompetent; incommensurate; defective, imperfect, incomplete.
1. sufficient. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for inadequate
  • Weak science reaching for a premature conclusion from insufficient data and an inadequate experiment.
  • The initial response to the spill is generally seen as inadequate.
  • The harvest-predicted to be ridiculously inadequate-is half a year away.
  • But under the swagger, a sense of himself as inadequate remained.
  • inadequate resources, poor coordination, and bureaucratic inertia or a failure to heed warnings can have tragic consequences.
  • However, their statements on this seem inadequate because the underlying emphasis is still geared toward species loss.
  • What bothered me more than the inadequate fact checking was the general tenor of this article.
  • Bird guides describe the color of the feet as bright blue, but that is totally inadequate.
  • Half of patients or more in our communities receive incomplete or inadequate care.
  • These theories aren't wrong so much as they are inadequate.
British Dictionary definitions for inadequate


not adequate; insufficient
not capable or competent; lacking
Derived Forms
inadequacy, noun
inadequately, adverb
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 inadequate

1670s; see in- (1) "not, opposite of" + adequate. Related: Inadequately.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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