Adequate Definition, Meaning, Synonyms: What does Adequate mean?

Adequate Definition

Adj. 1. adequate - having the requisite qualities or resources to meet a task; "she had adequate training"; "her training was adequate"; "she was adequate to the job"; "he was equal to the task"


satisfactory - giving satisfaction; "satisfactory living conditions"; "his grades were satisfactory"

2. adequate - sufficient for the purpose; "an adequate income"; "the food was adequate"; "a decent wage"; "enough food"; "food enough"

enough, decent

sufficient - of a quantity that can fulfill a need or requirement but without being abundant; "sufficient food"

3. adequate - about average; acceptable; "more than adequate as a secretary"

fair to middling, passable, tolerable

satisfactory - giving satisfaction; "satisfactory living conditions"; "his grades were satisfactory"



1. passable, acceptable, middling, average, fair, ordinary, moderate, satisfactory, competent, mediocre, so-so (informal), tolerable, up to scratch (informal), presentable, unexceptional One in four people are without adequate homes.

2. sufficient, enough, capable, suitable, requisite an amount adequate to purchase another house


[ad-i-kwit] Show IPA



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.


1610–20; < Latin adaequātus matched (past participle of adaequāre ). See ad-, equal, -ate1

Related forms

ad·e·quate·ly, adverb

ad·e·quate·ness, noun

pre·ad·e·quate, adjective

pre·ad·e·quate·ly, adverb

pre·ad·e·quate·ness, noun

Related words

Synonyms of Adequate

1. Satisfactory, competent, sufficient, enough; capable.

2. Acceptable, all right, capable, comfortable, commensurate, competent, decent, equal fair, passable, requisite, satisfactory, sufficient, sufficing, suitable, tolerable, unexceptional, unobjectionable

Antonyms of Adequate

1. Inadequate, unequal - lacking the requisite qualities or resources to meet a task; "inadequate training"; "the staff was inadequate"; "she was unequal to the task"

2. Passable lacking, inadequate, unsatisfactory, scant, meagre, deficient

3. Sufficient short, inadequate, insufficient, unsuitable

Meaning of Adequate

Good enough, although not necessarily the most or the best; sufficient. "Her skills were adequate for the job, but we hired a more qualified candidate."


Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does adequate mean? 

ADEQUATE (adjective)
  The adjective ADEQUATE has 3 senses:

1. (sometimes followed by 'to') meeting the requirements especially of a task
2. enough to meet a purpose
3. about average; acceptable

  Familiarity information: ADEQUATE used as an adjective is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 

ADEQUATE (adjective)

Sense 1


(sometimes followed by 'to') meeting the requirements especially of a task

Context examples:

she had adequate training / her training was adequate / she was adequate to the job


adequate to; capable; equal to; up to (having the requisite qualities for)

competent (adequate for the purpose)


satisfactory (giving satisfaction)


adequacy; adequateness (the quality of being able to meet a need satisfactorily:)


inadequate ((sometimes followed by 'to') not meeting the requirements especially of a task)

Sense 2


Enough to meet a purpose


enough; adequate; decent

Context examples:

an adequate income / the food was adequate / a decent wage / enough food / food enough


sufficient (of a quantity that can fulfill a need or requirement but without being abundant)

Sense 3


About average; acceptable


fair to middling; passable; tolerable adequate

Context example:

more than adequate as a secretary


satisfactory (giving satisfaction)

Sense 4

Part of Speech:



enough, able


acceptable, all right, capable, comfortable, commensurate, competent, decent, equal, fair, passable, requisite, satisfactory, sufficient, sufficing, suitable, tolerable, unexceptional, unobjectionable


adequate tends toward the qualitative and sufficient toward the quantitative, so adequate is 'suitable to something' and sufficient is 'enough for something'


inadequate, inferior, insufficient, unequal, unfit, unqualified, unsuitable, useless

Sense 5

Main Entry:


Part of Speech:



satisfactory, agreeable


A-OK, adequate, admissible, all right, average, big, common, cooking with gas, cool, copacetic, decent, delightful, fair, hep, hip, hunky-dory, in the swim, kosher, large, okay, on the ball, on the beam, passable, peachy keen, pleasant, pleasing, respectable, right on, standard, sufficient, swell, tolerable, trendy, unexceptional, unobjectionable, up to code, up to snuff, welcome


disagreeable, disturbing, unacceptable, unsatisfactory, unwelcome

Sense 6

Part of Speech:



able to perform


able, accomplished, adapted, adept, adequate, apt, au fait, clever, competent, dynamite, efficient, experienced, fireball, fitted, gifted, good, green thumb, has what it takes, having know-how, having the goods, having the right stuff, intelligent, knowing the ropes, knowing the score, like a one-man band, like a pistol, masterly, old hand, old-timer, on the ball, proficient, proper, qualified, skillful, suited, talented, there, up to it, up to snuff, up to speed, up, veteran


able is having the necessary power to accomplish something while capable means having the potential to accomplish something


impotent, incapable, incompetent, inept, unable, unskilled, unskillful

Adequate sentence examples

  • The limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate safe foods, or limited or uncertain ability to acquire foods in socially acceptable ways.

  • Adequate for purpose.

  • Adequate to facilitate their inspections.

  • Adequate ventilation in the roof area.

  • Secondly, they introduce some principles of good practice that must be applied if control of exposure is to be deemed adequate.

  • That was, last century, a perfectly adequate response.

  • Adequate for the task?

  • Adequate to meet future needs?

  • Adequate protection must be given to pictures in transit.

  • It is also the real experimentation with social practices and organizational forms that can prove adequate to the task.

  • It is clear to us from a reading of these reports that " sound " did not mean " barely adequate " .

  • Adequate to protect the unborn child.

  • Adequate intake of fluids a more alkaline state will prevail, which is the base of all good health.

  • RDA is the amounts of selected nutrients considered adequate to meet the known nutrient needs of healthy people.

  • The amounts may be too small to see, but they're quite adequate for the new testing and screening techniques.

  • Adequate to prevent deficiency is clearly indicated.

  • Adequate fire precautions have been taken to ensure the animals safety in the case of fire.

  • Reviewing cover you should review the cover provided by any policy of insurance annually to ensure it remains adequate for your needs.

  • Adequate safeguards in.

  • Adequate supervision during swimming, possibly on a one-to-one basis, is essential.
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