An inadequacy is something that is not enough. If you get a bad grade, it may reveal an inadequacy in your approach to studying.

The syllable qua in inadequacy rhymes with duh, and the accent is on the second syllable: "in-AD-uh-quh-see." You know that in- means "not," and the suffix y means "the quality or state of." But what is that middle part? Adaequare is the Latin word for "to make equal." So, inadequacy is the state of not being equal — or enough — for something.

Definitions of inadequacy
  1. noun
    a lack of competence
    synonyms: insufficiency
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    type of:
    failing, weakness
    a flaw or weak point
  2. noun
    unsatisfactoriness by virtue of being inadequate
    synonyms: inadequateness
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    adequacy, adequateness
    the quality of being able to meet a need satisfactorily
    type of:
    the quality of being inadequate or unsuitable
  3. noun
    lack of an adequate quantity or number
    “the inadequacy of unemployment benefits”
    synonyms: deficiency, insufficiency
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    adequacy, sufficiency
    the quality of being sufficient for the end in view
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    exiguity, leanness, meagerness, meagreness, poorness, scantiness, scantness
    the quality of being meager
    deficit, shortage, shortfall
    the property of being an amount by which something is less than expected or required
    scarceness, scarcity
    a small and inadequate amount
    the quality of being slight or inadequate
    meagerness or poorness connoted by a superfluity of water (in a literary style as well as in a food)
    restricted to bare necessities
    oxygen deficit
    temporary oxygen shortage in cells resulting from strenuous exercise
    spareness, sparseness, sparsity, thinness
    the property of being scanty or scattered; lacking denseness
    dearth, paucity
    an insufficient quantity or number
    infrequency, rareness, rarity
    noteworthy scarcity
    type of:
    the relative magnitude of something with reference to a criterion
Word Family

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