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sufficient condition

Definition of Sufficient Condition

(noun) Something that, if present, guarantees an effect can occur.

Examples of Sufficient Condition

  • Having ice cream means it is possible to eat ice cream.
  • The availability of oxygen means human life is possible.

Sufficient Condition Pronunciation

Usage Notes

  • Plural: sufficient conditions
  • Sufficient condition is related to necessary condition, which is something that must happen for an effect to occur.
  • Sufficient conditions are not always necessary. For example, a person with ice cream can eat a bowl of ice cream if they have ice cream, but you can still eat ice cream without a bowl. Additionally, to eat a bowl of soup, it is not necessary or sufficient to have ice cream. Finally, it is both necessary and sufficient to have both a bowl and ice cream to eat a bowl of ice cream.
  • Also called:
    • sufficient cause
    • necessity

Additional Information

Related Terms


Cite the Definition of Sufficient Condition

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “sufficient condition.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved August 24, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/sufficient-condition/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

sufficient condition. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/sufficient-condition/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “sufficient condition.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed August 24, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/sufficient-condition/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“sufficient condition.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 24 Aug. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/sufficient-condition/>.