The Meaning of Suffice: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of suffice? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word suffice, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word suffice mean?

According to Cambridge English Dictionary and Merriam-Webster Unabridged English Dictionary, the word suffice (pronounced səˈfaɪs) is a verb that means to be enough, or to satisfy. This is related to the adjective sufficient, which is used to describe something that suffices. The present form of suffice is sufficing, and the past tense form of the word suffice is sufficed. Try using this word of the day or other new words in a sentence today!

There are many different languages that contain words that mean suffice. You may notice that a lot of these words look and sound similar to each other, as well as to the word suffice. This is probably because these words thare a common origin such as Latin or Greek. Cognates, which are words that look, sound, and mean something similar across languages are often formed this way. This list of translations for the word suffice is provided by Word Sense

  • Chinese – Mandarin: 足夠‎, 足够‎ (zúgòu), 夠‎, 够‎ (gòu), 使滿足‎, 使满足‎ (shǐ mǎnzú)
  • Japanese: 足りる‎, 足る‎
  • Portuguese: ser‎ suficiente, atender‎, satisfazer‎, bastar‎, chegar‎
  • Bokmål: holde‎
  • Spanish: bastar‎
  • Swahili: tosha‎
  • Russian: хвата́ть‎ (impf), хвати́ть‎ (pf)
  • Danish: holde‎
  • Armenian: բավականացնել‎, հերիքել‎, բավարարել‎
  • Nynorsk: halde‎
  • Georgian: ყოფნა‎, კმარა‎
  • Quechua: aypay‎
  • Scottish Gaelic: foghain‎
  • Swedish: räcka‎, förslå‎
  • Dutch: genoeg‎ zijn‎, volstaan‎, voldoen‎, toereiken‎
  • Esperanto: sufiĉi‎
  • Greek: φτάνω‎, αρκώ‎
  • German: ausreichen‎, genügen‎
  • Arabic: كَفَى‎
  • Latin: abastar‎
  • Polish: wystarczać‎, wystarczyć‎
  • Finnish: riittää‎, kelvata‎, menetellä‎, piisata‎
  • French: suffire‎
  • Norwegian: rekke‎
  • Ladino:
  • Czech: stačit‎
  • Persian: کفایت کردن‎ (kefâyat kardan)

How can the word suffice be used in a sentence?

The word suffice can be used in many different sentences to mean to be enough. It can also be used in the phrase suffice it to say. In this example, Jay is asking his dad for money to take his date to the movies.

Jay: Hey Dad?

Dad: Yes?

Jay: I kind of might have asked out a girl.

Dad: Congrats, son. What’s her name?

Jay: Julie. And she said yes, which is great…

Dad: What’s the matter?

Jay: I asked her if she wanted to go to the movies on Friday. It turns out, movies are really expensive. Could I borrow some money?

Dad: Will a fifty suffice?

Jay: Oh my God. Definitely. I’ll pay you back, I promise.

Dad: Don’t worry about it. Just be a gentleman, be polite, and have a good time.

Here, Jay’s dad asks him if a fifty dollar bill will be enough for taking his date to the movies by using the word suffice. The word suffice can be used in many different scenarios involving money or other goods in which a person is wondering how much will be enough. 

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word suffice?

There are many different words in the English language that mean the same thing as the word suffice. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same definitions as another word or phrase. Synonyms are very useful words to know because they can help you to avoid repeating the same word over and over again as well as expand your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word suffice is provided  by Thesaurus.

  • hack it
  • fill the bill
  • sate
  • make a hit
  • satiate
  • be sufficient
  • suit
  • exist
  • do
  • glut
  • make the grade
  • gorge
  • enthrall
  • go over big
  • muddle through
  • exhilarate
  • brighten up
  • content
  • animate
  • make out
  • do well enough
  • prosper
  • captivate
  • get by
  • do the trick
  • flourish
  • be good enough
  • appease
  • gladden
  • answer
  • succeed
  • thrive
  • meet requirement
  • delight
  • score
  • get along
  • cope
  • make merry
  • fill
  • contrive
  • entertain
  • be the ticket
  • slake
  • indulge
  • humor
  • cheer
  • flatter
  • adequate
  • manage
  • hit the spot
  • make ends meet
  • avail
  • elate
  • propitiate
  • serve
  • satisfy
  • placate
  • conciliate
  • shift
  • cloy
  • assuage
  • enliven
  • amuse
  • meet
  • fare
  • mollify
  • surfeit
  • quench
  • capture
  • pacify
  • subsist
  • comfort
  • survive
  • get on
  • fascinate
  • sell on
  • gratify
  • befriend
  • sell
  • be enough
  • rejoice

There are also many different words in the English language that mean the opposite of the word suffice. These are called antonyms. Antonyms are also a useful English language tool to help you expand your vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word suffice is also provided by Thesaurus

  • drop
  • forget
  • misfire
  • overlook
  • undershoot
  • miscarry
  • blow
  • fall short
  • neglect
  • misplace
  • pass up
  • skip
  • overshoot
  • blunder
  • lose
  • pass over
  • juggle
  • trip
  • fall flat on face
  • fumble
  • let slip
  • disregard
  • omit
  • ignore
  • drop the ball
  • err
  • be late for
  • mislay
  • flub
  • botch
  • let go
  • slight
  • slip
  • muff
  • trip up

What is the origin of the word suffice?

According to Etymonline, the word suffice has been used as an intransitive verb since the early 14th century, and as a transitive verb since the late 14th century. This word comes from the present participle stem of the Old French suffire or sofire, which meant to be sufficient or to satisfy. In Modern French, this word is written as suffire. This comes from the Latin sufficere meaning to put under or to lay a foundation. This comes from the root sub meaning up to and the root facere meaning to make or do. This Latin word comes from the Proto-Indo-European root dhe meaning to set or put. The phrase suffice it to say has been used since the 1690s. 

Overall, the word suffice is a verb that means to be enough, or to satisfy. This word is often used in reference to goods or money, and can be used in a plethora of different circumstances. This word is of Latin origin. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.wordsense.eu/suffice/
  2. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/suffice
  3. https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/fall%20short
  4. https://www.etymonline.com/word/suffice#etymonline_v_22312
  5. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/suffice
  6. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/suffice