adequate


adequate
adequate
1. In its meaning ‘proportionate to the requirements’, sufficient, adequate is most commonly used without a complement (There is an adequate supply of food in the flooded area). When it has one, this is either for or to (Their earnings are adequate for/to their needs). It is also used idiomatically to mean ‘barely sufficient’: The standard rapidly sinks to a level which is, at best, adequate but at worst incompetent.
2. Arguments that adequate is an absolute are as invalid and contrary to usage as similar arguments for unique. Language is rarely as absolute as purists would like, and it is natural to find adequacy graded by adverbs and in terms of comparatives and superlatives (We are seeking a more adequate return on our investments / The work done is fairly adequate / The most adequate description yet released of the horror of the hijacking).

Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • adequate — ad·e·quate adj: lawfully and reasonably sufficient adequate grounds for a lawsuit Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. adequate …   Law dictionary

  • adequate — UK US /ˈædɪkwət/ adjective ► enough or good enough for a particular purpose: »Staff did not receive adequate training. adequate to do sth »Our laws must be adequate to protect our citizens. adequate for sth »This printer should be perfectly… …   Financial and business terms

  • Adequate — Ad e*quate, v. t. [See {Adequate}, a.] 1. To equalize; to make adequate. [R.] Fotherby. [1913 Webster] 2. To equal. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] It [is] an impossibility for any creature to adequate God in his eternity. Shelford. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Adequate — Ad e*quate, a. [L. adaequatus, p. p. of adaequare to make equal to; ad + aequare to make equal, aequus equal. See {Equal}.] Equal to some requirement; proportionate, or correspondent; fully sufficient; as, powers adequate to a great work; an… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adequate — adequate; in·adequate; …   English syllables

  • adequate — (adj.) 1610s, from L. adaequatus equalized, pp. of adaequare to make equal to, from ad to (see AD (Cf. ad )) + aequare make level, from aequus (see EQUAL (Cf. equal)). The sense is of being equal to what is required. Related …   Etymology dictionary

  • adequate — [adj] enough, able acceptable, all right, capable, comfortable, commensurate, competent, decent, equal, fair, passable, requisite, satisfactory, sufficient, sufficing, suitable, tolerable, unexceptional, unobjectionable; concepts 533,558 Ant.… …   New thesaurus

  • adequate — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ satisfactory or acceptable. DERIVATIVES adequacy noun adequately adverb. ORIGIN from Latin adaequare make equal to …   English terms dictionary

  • adequate — [ad′i kwət] adj. [L adaequatus, pp. of adaequare < ad , to + aequare, to make equal < aequus, level, equal] 1. enough or good enough for what is required or needed; sufficient; suitable 2. barely satisfactory; acceptable but not remarkable… …   English World dictionary

  • adequate — 01. Too many children in this country are leaving home in the morning without having eaten an [adequate] meal. 02. Local parents are concerned over the [adequacy] of the school s program for children with special needs. 03. The equipment at the… …   Grammatical examples in English


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