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[in-suh-fish-uh n-see] /ˌɪn səˈfɪʃ ən si/
noun, plural insufficiencies for 2.
deficiency in amount, force, power, competence, or fitness; inadequacy:
insufficiency of supplies.
an instance of this.
inability of an organ or other part of the body to function normally:
cardiac insufficiency.
Origin of insufficiency
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Late Latin insufficientia. See insufficient, -ency
Related forms
self-insufficiency, noun, plural self-insufficiencies. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for insufficiency
  • My explanation is that postpartum depression is the first sign of metabolic insufficiency.
  • Although it is easy to treat, adrenal insufficiency can be tough to diagnose.
  • Complete insufficiency does not enter the meaning of the term.
  • The real cause of unemployment is currency insufficiency.
  • Most of the people who are getting less sleep experience some consequences of sleep insufficiency.
  • Where now he realized only his own inconsequence, effort would make him aware of his own impotency and insufficiency.
  • During an extreme form of adrenal insufficiency, adrenal crisis, you must inject hydrocortisone immediately.
  • Treating related disorders such as diabetes and renal insufficiency may prevent some neuralgias.
  • There may be heart murmurs or other signs of aortic insufficiency or mitral insufficiency.
  • Kidney insufficiency or kidney failure is rare with unilateral hydronephrosis because the other kidney usually functions normally.
British Dictionary definitions for insufficiency


Also called insufficience. the state of being insufficient
(pathol) failure in the functioning of an organ, tissue, etc: cardiac insufficiency
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 insufficiency

1520s, from Late Latin insufficientia, noun of quality from insufficientem (see insufficient). Insufficience "deficiency" is from early 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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insufficiency in Medicine

insufficiency in·suf·fi·cien·cy (ĭn'sə-fĭsh'ən-sē)

  1. An inability of a bodily part or an organ to function normally.

  2. A moral or mental incompetence.

  3. An inadequate supply.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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