Meaning of “adequate” in the English Dictionary

"adequate" in British English

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uk /ˈæd.ə.kwət/ us /ˈæd.ə.kwət/

B2 enough or satisfactory for a particular purpose:

Have we got adequate food for 20 guests?
I didn't have adequate time to prepare.
It's not a big salary but it's adequate for our needs.
The council's provision for the elderly is barely adequate (= is not enough).

More examples

  • Without the adequate provision of childcare, many women who wish to work are unable to do so.
  • New legislation still does not offer adequate protection for many endangered species.
  • They demanded adequate remuneration for their work.
  • Children need adequate amounts of nutritious foods to grow up strong and healthy.
  • Parents complained that the new school didn't have adequate resources to deal with the large amount of pupils.
noun [ U ] uk /ˈæd.ə.kwə.si/ us /ˈæd.ə.kwə.si/

The adequacy of public healthcare has been brought into question.
adverb uk /ˈæd.ə.kwə us /ˈæd.ə.kwə


While some patients can be adequately cared for at home, others are best served by care in a hospital.

(Definition of “adequate” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"adequate" in American English

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us /ˈæd·ɪ·kwət/

enough or satisfactory for a particular purpose:

He didn’t have adequate time to prepare for the exam.
noun [ U ] /ˈæd·ɪ·kwə·si/

We must re-examine the adequacy of our current security procedures.
adverb us /ˈæd·ɪ·kwət·li/

Were you adequately paid, or do you need more money?

(Definition of “adequate” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"adequate" in Business English

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uk /ˈædɪkwət/ us

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 adequate for your needs.

(Definition of “adequate” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)