- as much or as good as necessary for some requirement or purpose; fully sufficient, suitable, or fit (often followed by to or for): This car is adequate to our needs. adequate food for fifty people.
- barely sufficient or suitable: Being adequate is not good enough.
- Law. reasonably sufficient for starting legal action: adequate grounds.
- able to fulfil a need or requirement without being abundant, outstanding, etc
1610s, from Latin adaequatus “equalized,” past participle of adaequare “to make equal to,” from ad- “to” (see ad-) + aequare “make level,” from aequus (see equal). The sense is of being “equal to what is required.” Related: Adequateness.