Something inadequate doesn't cut it. If you lack just a few centimeters to reach the low mark on the wooden sign, your height is inadequate for riding the big roller coaster. Wear heels next time.

The Latin root of adequate means "equal to," so inadequate refers to things that aren't equal to what is expected or needed. Something can be naturally inadequate, as in "inadequate rainfall to stop the fire," or it can result from lack of effort, as when someone avoids a question: "Your response was totally inadequate. Tell me what really happened."

Definitions of inadequate

adj lacking the requisite qualities or resources to meet a task

inadequate training”
“the staff was inadequate
deficient, lacking, wanting
inadequate in amount or degree
incapable, incompetent, unequal to
not meeting requirements
short-handed, short-staffed, undermanned, understaffed
inadequate in number of workers or assistants etc.
not giving satisfaction
adequate, equal
having the requisite qualities or resources to meet a task
adequate to, capable, equal to, up to
having the requisite qualities for
adequate for the purpose
giving satisfaction
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adj not sufficient to meet a need

“an inadequate income”
poor, short
deficient, insufficient
of a quantity not able to fulfill a need or requirement

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