1. adequate for the want or need; sufficient for the purpose or to satisfy desire: enough water; noise enough to wake the dead.


  1. an adequate quantity or number; sufficiency.


  1. in a quantity or degree that answers a purpose or satisfies a need or desire; sufficiently.
  2. fully or quite: ready enough.


  1. (used to express impatience or exasperation): Enough! I heard you the first time.


    1. sufficient to answer a need, demand, supposition, or requirement; adequateenough cake
    2. (as pronoun)enough is now known
  1. that’s enough! that will do: used to put an end to an action, speech, performance, etc


  1. so as to be adequate or sufficient; as much as necessaryyou have worked hard enough
  2. (not used with a negative) very or quite; rathershe was pleased enough to see me
  3. (intensifier)oddly enough; surprisingly enough
  4. just adequately; tolerablyhe did it well enough

c.1300, from Old English genog, a common Germanic formation (cf. Old Saxon ginog, Old Frisian enoch, Dutch genoeg, Old High German ginuog, German genug, Old Norse gnogr, Gothic ganohs).

This is a compound of ge- “with, together” (also a participial, collective, intensive, or perfective prefix) + root -nah, from PIE *nek- “reach, attain” (cf. Sanskrit asnoti “reaches,” Hittite ninikzi “lifts, raises,” Lithuanian nešti “to bear, carry,” Latin nancisci “to obtain”).

It is the most prominent among the surviving examples of Old English ge-, the equivalent of Latin com- and Modern German ge-, from PIE *kom- “beside, near, by, with” (see com-).

Meaning “moderately, fairly, tolerably” (good enough) was in Middle English. Understated sense of have had enough “have had too much” was in Old English (which relied heavily on double negatives and understatement). Colloquial ‘nough said is attested from 1839.

In addition to the idioms beginning with enough

  • enough is enough
  • enough rope, give someone
  • enough said
  • enough to sink a ship

also see:

  • fair enough
  • had enough
  • leave well enough alone
  • not enough room to swing a cat
  • sure enough
  • (enough) to wake the dead

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