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From Middle English suffisen, from Middle French souffire, from Latin sufficiō (supply, be adequate), from sub (under) + faciō (do, make). Cognate with French suffire.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /səˈfaɪs/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪs


suffice (third-person singular simple present suffices, present participle sufficing, simple past and past participle sufficed)

  1. (intransitive) To be enough or sufficient; to meet the need (of anything); to be adequate; to be good enough.
    For this plum cake, two eggs should suffice.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book VII”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker [] [a]nd by Robert Boulter [] [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      To recount almighty works, / What words or tongue of seraph can suffice?
  2. (transitive) To satisfy; to content; to be equal to the wants or demands of.
    A joint of lamb sufficed even his enormous appetite.
    • 1838, The Church of England quarterly review (page 203)
      Lord Brougham's salary would have sufficed more than ninety Prussian judges.
  3. To furnish; to supply adequately.

Usage notesEdit

  • Commonly used in the phrase suffice it to say.
  • Mostly used in modal verb constructions, such as: Half a loaf per day will suffice. This is much more common than the direct form Half a loaf per day suffices.


Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Further readingEdit






  1. second-person singular present active imperative of sufficiō