Definition of modicum
: a small portion : a limited quantity had only a modicum of mathematical skills
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Examples of modicum in a Sentence
only a modicum of skill is necessary to put the kit together
Recent Examples of modicum from the Web
The Explorers had earned a modicum of momentum when Chris Hladczuk got La Salle within 5-4 with 3 minutes, 38 seconds left in the quarter.
Which is why the response by any thinking Republican, or one even with a modicum of decency, was complete silence.
Even the band explained that anyone with a modicum of knowledge about Metallica.com could have figured out what to do with the early reviews.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'modicum'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The Origins of Modicum Can Be Found in the Bathroom
What does "modicum" have to do with a toilet? It just so happens that "modicum" shares the same Latin parent as "commode," which is a synonym of "toilet." "Modicum" and "commode" ultimately derive from the Latin noun modus, which means "measure." "Modicum" has been a part of the English language since the 15th century. It descends from the Latin modicus ("moderate"), which is itself a descendant of "modus." (Logically enough, "modicum" refers to a small "measure" of something.) "Modus" really measures up as a Latin root - it also gave us "mode" (originally a kind of musical "measure"), "modal," "model," "modern," "modify," and "modulate." More distant relatives include "mete," "moderate," and "modest."
Origin and Etymology of modicum
Middle English, from Latin, neuter of modicus moderate, from modus measure
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
MODICUM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of modicum for English Language Learners
: a small amount
Seen and Heard
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