Share this entry

inadequate Syllabification: in·ad·e·quate
Pronunciation: /inˈadikwət/

Definition of inadequate in English:


1Lacking the quality or quantity required; insufficient for a purpose: these labels prove to be wholly inadequate inadequate funding
More example sentences
  • We accused her of giving inadequate funding to our schools but when we requested an interview she declined.
  • He said government funding was inadequate and had failed to keep up with rising costs.
  • The system appears to be inadequate for the present requirements of the village.
informal measly, pathetic
formal exiguous
incompetent, incapable, unsatisfactory, unfit, unacceptable, ineffective, ineffectual, inefficient, unskillful, inexpert, inept, amateurish, substandard, poor, useless, inferior
informal not up to scratch, not up to snuff, no great shakes, lame, shabby
1.1(Of a person) unable to deal with a situation or with life: a sad, solitary, inadequate man I felt like a fraud, inadequate to the task
More example sentences
  • Roland, Gabriel and I had been prepared for this battle, but still we were inadequate.
  • Valentine's day may be a conspiracy to make single people feel inadequate.
  • The power to make and break little lives can sometimes make people feel inadequate and uncomfortable.



Example sentences
  • It was that beauty the great poets dream about but describe most poorly and inadequately.
  • Yet chronic disease is often poorly treated and inadequately prevented.
  • Standards in education have slipped, they say, and too few teachers, often inadequately trained, are entering the schools system.

Definition of inadequate in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day innocuous
Pronunciation: ɪˈnɒkjʊəs
not harmful or offensive