AskDefine | Define suffice

Dictionary Definition

suffice v : be sufficient; be adequate, either in quality or quantity; "A few words would answer"; "This car suits my purpose well"; "Will $100 do?"; "A 'B' grade doesn't suffice to get me into medical school"; "Nothing else will serve" [syn: do, answer, serve]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /səˈfaɪs/


From suffisen, from souffire, from sufficio. Cognate with French suffire


  1. To be enough, or sufficient; to meet the need (of anything); to be equal to the end proposed; to be adequate.
  2. To satisfy; to content; to be equal to the wants or demands of.
  3. To furnish; to supply adequately.

Related terms


be enough, sufficient, adequate
  • Dutch: voldoen (aan)
  • Dutch: voorzien (van)

Extensive Definition

This article discusses only the formal meanings of necessary and sufficient. For the causal meanings see causation.
In logic, the words necessity and sufficiency refer to the implicational relationships between statements. The assertion that one statement is a necessary and sufficient condition of another means that the former statement is true if and only if the latter is true.
  • A necessary condition of a statement must be satisfied for the statement to be true. Formally, a statement P is a necessary condition of a statement Q if Q implies P. For example, the ability to breathe is necessary to a human's survival. Likewise, for the whole numbers greater than two, being odd is necessary to being prime, since two is the only whole number that is both even and prime.
  • A sufficient condition is one that, if satisfied, assures the statement's truth. Formally, a statement P is a sufficient condition of a statement Q if P implies Q. Thus, jumping is sufficient to leave the ground, since an intrinsic element of the concept jumping'' is leaving the ground. A number's being divisible by 2 is sufficient for its being even.
  • That a condition is one of necessary and sufficient does not imply the other. For instance, being a mammal is necessary but not sufficient to being human, and that a number q is rational is sufficient but not necessary to q‘s being a real number. A condition can be both necessary and sufficient. For example, at present, "today is the Fourth of July" is a necessary and sufficient condition for "today is Independence Day in the United States." Similarly, a necessary and sufficient condition for invertibility of a matrix M is that M have a nonzero determinant.

Argument forms involving necessary and sufficient conditions

External links

suffice in Czech: Nutná a postačující podmínka
suffice in German: Notwendige und hinreichende Bedingung
suffice in Spanish: Condición necesaria y suficiente
suffice in Finnish: Välttämättömyys
suffice in Hebrew: תנאי שקול
suffice in Simple English: Necessary
suffice in Italian: Condizione necessaria e sufficiente
suffice in Japanese: 必要十分条件
suffice in Korean: 필요충분조건
suffice in Portuguese: Condições necessárias e suficientes
suffice in Russian: Необходимое и достаточное условие
suffice in Swedish: Nödvändiga och tillräckliga villkor
suffice in Chinese: 充分必要条件

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

advantage, answer, avail, be equal to, be handy, be of use, be satisfactory, bear, benefit, bestead, do, do it, do the trick, fill the bill, fulfill, get by, give good returns, go around, hack it, hold, just do, make the grade, meet, meet requirements, pass, pass muster, pay, pay off, profit, qualify, quench, reach, sate, satiate, satisfy, serve, serve the purpose, stand, stand up, stretch, suit, take it, work, yield a profit
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