Is there a word in English a quantity of something that is exactly as much as needed, neither more, nor less.

For example: going into details exactly as much as it is needed, not more, not less...

  • When a witness is being sworn in, he affirms that he will tell "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." If only truth were quantifiable... – rajah9 Jul 16 '15 at 19:00
  • Your question makes it sounds like the quantity is tangible and measurable, such as "2 liters of gas" or "1 cup of white flour." In these cases, one might say (for a fluid) "2 liters, to the drop"; or (for a dry measure used in cooking) "a level cup." But your example is centered around details, which are not measurable, quantifiable, or exact. In particular, one man's scant narrative may be another man's TMI (Too Much Information). – rajah9 Jul 16 '15 at 19:08
  • Some context would help us to narrow down the meaning you want. Rather than simply defining the term, please can you give a sample sentence with a blank where the word would go? – chasly - supports Monica Jul 16 '15 at 21:44

I think the adjective Goldilocks may fit your criteria

[AS MODIFIER] Denoting or referring to the most desirable or advantageous part of a range of values or conditions (typically the center):

the planet is in the middle of what astronomers call the Goldilocks zone: a place that’s not too hot and not too cold

he promises us a return to the Goldilocks economy—not too much deflation, not too much inflation

Oxford Dictionaries Online

The term derives from the fairytale about a little girl named Goldilocks and her encounter with three bears. The modern versions recount a girl who breaks and enters a home and keeps sampling the possessions of the mother, the father and the child, choosing, for example, a bed which is not too soft, not too hard, but just right.

The term has now been adopted into a phenomenon often referred to as the Goldilocks principle and the Goldilocks effect

The Goldilocks principle states that something must fall within certain margins, as opposed to reaching extremes. When the effects of the principle are observed, it is known as the Goldilocks effect.

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"going into details precisely as much as it is needed, not more, not less..."

precisely adverb: exactly (used to emphasize the complete accuracy or truth of a statement). "at 2:00 precisely, the phone rang" (Google)

Or perhaps, proportional (or both combined),

e.g., going into details which are precisely proportional to the need, not more, not less...

proportional adjective: corresponding in size or amount to something else. (Google)

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  • 2
    Doesn't OP require a synonym for 'exactly as much as ... is needed' rather than for 'exactly'? – Edwin Ashworth Jul 16 '15 at 18:34
  • @Edwin Ashworth - maybe, as in proportional? – user98990 Jul 16 '15 at 18:46
  • I can only think of consummation or realisation, but I'd not choose these over exact amount needed. Optimum as a noun is less rarefied, but means best conditions possible. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 16 '15 at 18:55
  • Yes, I see what you mean @Edwin Ashworth, in any case, I find myself rather committed to this course upon which I find myself. Thanks. :-) – user98990 Jul 16 '15 at 19:01

The neatest answer, usually lower case, is

q. s.


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A sufficiency is defined by oxforddictionaries.com as "an adequate amount of something".

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  • But that doesn't mean "exactly as much as needed", it means "at least as much as needed". A bare sufficiency is exactly as much as needed. – Peter Shor Jul 16 '15 at 21:07

succinct —Dictionary definitions don't support the spirit of this usage, so I turned to Wiki.

In computer science, a succinct data structure is a data structure which uses an amount of space that is "close" to the information-theoretic lower bound, but (unlike other compressed representations) still allows for efficient query operations. -Wiki

Succinct is as small as it can get without losing functionality. Any smaller and it's called compact; larger and it's implicit.


There is a succinct amount of table salt that goes into making chocolate chip cookies. Any less and they taste like cardboard; too much and they taste salty.

Please give me only the succinct details.

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Lagom is a Swedish word meaning "just the right amount". [...] The Lexin Swedish-English dictionary defines lagom as "enough, sufficient, adequate, just right". Lagom is also widely translated as "in moderation", "in balance", "perfect-simple", and "suitable" (in matter of amounts). Whereas words like "sufficient" and "average" suggest some degree of abstinence, scarcity, or failure, lagom carries the connotation of appropriateness, although not necessarily perfection.

Considering the failed efforts to translate lagom into English, you might be better off borrowing the Swedish word.

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