What does adequate mean?

Definitions for adequate
ˈæd ɪ kwɪtad·e·quate

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word adequate.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. adequate, equaladjective

    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"

  2. adequate, decent, enoughadjective

    sufficient for the purpose

    "an adequate income"; "the food was adequate"; "a decent wage"; "enough food"; "food enough"

  3. adequate, passable, fair to middling, tolerableadjective

    about average; acceptable

    "more than adequate as a secretary"


  1. adequateverb

    To equal.

    It [is] an impossibility for any creature to adequate God in his eternity. uE000105695uE001 Shelford.

  2. adequateadjective

    Equal to some requirement; proportionate, or correspondent; fully sufficient; as, powers adequate to a great work; an adequate definition lawfully and physically sufficient.

  3. Etymology: adaequatus, past participle of adaequare; ad + aequare, aequus.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Adequateadjective

    Equal to; proportionate; correspondent to, so as to bear an exact resemblance or proportion. It is used generally in a figurative sense, and often with the particle to.

    Etymology: adequatus, Lat.

    Contingent death seems to be the whole adequate object of popular courage; but a necessary and unavoidable coffin strikes paleness into the stoutest heart. Gideon Harvey, on Consumptions.

    The arguments were proper, adequate, and sufficient to compass their respective ends. Robert South, Sermons.

    All our simple ideas are adequate; because, being nothing but the effects of certain powers in things, fitted and ordained by God to produce such sensations in us, they cannot but be correspondent and adequate to those powers. John Locke.

    Those are adequate ideas, which perfectly represent their archetypes or objects. Inadequate are but a partial, or incomplete, representation of those archetypes to which they are referred. Isaac Watts, Logick.


  1. adequate

    Adequate generally refers to something that is sufficient, acceptable and meets the basic requirements or needs. It may not be exceptional or outstanding but rather measures up to a satisfactory or passable standard.

  2. adequate

    Adequate refers to something that is acceptable or satisfactory in quantity, quality, or degree. It is sufficient for a specific requirement or purpose.

  3. adequate

    Adequate refers to something that is sufficient or acceptable in quality or quantity. It implies a state of being able to adequately meet a specific need, requirement, or purpose.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Adequateadjective

    equal to some requirement; proportionate, or correspondent; fully sufficient; as, powers adequate to a great work; an adequate definition

  2. Adequateadjective

    to equalize; to make adequate

  3. Adequateadjective

    to equal

  4. Etymology: [See Adequate, a.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Adequate

    ad′e-kwāt, adj. equal to: proportionate: sufficient.—adv. Ad′equately.—ns. Ad′equateness, Ad′equacy, state of being adequate: sufficiency. [L. adæquatus, made equal—ad, to, and æquus, equal.]

Editors Contribution

  1. adequate

    Sufficient and appropriate for a specific purpose.

    There was an adequate amount of food at the table for all the visitors.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 16, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'adequate' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2835

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'adequate' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3886

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'adequate' in Adjectives Frequency: #381

How to pronounce adequate?

How to say adequate in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of adequate in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of adequate in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of adequate in a Sentence

  1. Todd Halihan:

    It is a really easy measurement in this case whether a regulation is adequate: Have the number of quakes gone down? that says whether you're doing an adequate job.

  2. Margaret Fuller:

    Art can only be truly Art by presenting an adequate outward symbol of some fact in the interior life.

  3. Eric Olson:

    Every state and territory is required to have an emergency drinking water plan in place for natural disasters and obviously when The EPA approves that plan, they are supposed to affirm that there is an adequate plan for response, and The EPA did approve the plan, but clearly they didn't have an adequate plan for drinking water.

  4. Matthew Arnold:

    Whoever sets himself to see things as they are will find himself one of a very small circle but it is only by this small circle resolutely doing its own work that adequate ideas will ever get current at all.

  5. Bette Greene:

    What is genius, anyway, if it isn't the ability to give an adequate response to a great challenge

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Translations for adequate

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"adequate." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/adequate>.

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    interchangeable with `means' in the expression `by means of'
    • A. dint
    • B. scholastic
    • C. serendipity
    • D. muddle

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