• (America) IPA: /ˈæ.də.kwɪt/, /ˈæ.də.kɪt/ (proscribed)
  • IPA: /ˈæ.dəˌkweɪt/


  1. Equal to or fulfilling some requirement.
    Synonyms: acceptable, correspondent, proportionate, satisfactory, sufficient
    Antonyms: inadequate
    powers adequate to a great work
    an adequate definition
    • 1673, Hannah Woolley, The Gentlewomans Companion, London: Dorman Newman, “Of Habit, and the neatness and property thereof,” p. 61,
      Proportion therefore your Clothes to your bodies, and let them be proper for your persons. […] Agreeableness […] ought to be exact, and adequate both to age, person and condition, avoiding extremities on both sides, being neither too much out, nor in the fashions.
    • 1811, Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility, Chapter 31,
      Her legal allowance was not adequate to her fortune, nor sufficient for her comfortable maintenance […]
    • 1853, Thomas De Quincey, Autobiographic Sketches in Narrative and Miscellaneous Papers, Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, “Dublin,” p. 254,
      […] in those days, Ireland had no adequate champion; the Hoods and the Henry Grattan were not up to the mark.
    • 1903, Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Adventure of the Empty House” in The Return of Sherlock Holmes,
      All day as I drove upon my round I turned over the case in my mind, and found no explanation which appeared to me to be adequate.
    • 2009, J. M. Coetzee, Summertime (novel), New York: Viking, p. 212,
      John was a perfectly adequate academic. A perfectly adequate academic but not a notable teacher.
Related terms Translations Verb

adequate (adequates, present participle adequating; past and past participle adequated)

  1. (obsolete) To equalize; to make adequate.
    • 1622, Martin Fotherby, Atheomastix; clearing foure truthes, against atheists and infidels, London, Book 2, Chapter 2, p. 208,
      Let me giue yet one instance more, of a truly intellectuall obiect, exactly adequated and proportioned vnto the intellectuall appetite.
  2. (obsolete) To equal.
    • 1635, Robert Shelford, Theologia Amantis Deum, or A Treatise of the Divine Attributes in Five Pious and Learned Discourses, Cambridge, p. 227,
      […] though it be an impossibilitie for any creature to adequate God in his eternitie, yet he hath ordained all his sonnes in Christ to partake of it by living with him eternally.

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