pau·​ci·​ty | \ˈpȯ-sə-tē \

Definition of paucity 

1 : smallness of number : fewness

2 : smallness of quantity : dearth

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Learn a Little About Paucity

Paucity, which was first recorded in English in the 15th century, comes to us from the Middle English word paucite, and is ultimately derived from "paucus," Latin for little. It is not surprising, then, that "paucity" came to refer to a "littleness" of numbers (as in "a paucity of facts or studies") or quantity ("a paucity of evidence"). One can even use paucity when speaking of abstract concepts, as in "a paucity of experience or knowledge."

Examples of paucity in a Sentence

If you had one of those Yugoslav names with a paucity of vowels, you might sprinkle in a few … — Calvin Trillin, Time, 22 May 2000 For my part, I find increasingly that I miss the simplicity, the almost willful paucity, of the English way of doing things. — Bill Bryson, I'm a Stranger Here Myself, 1999 This relative paucity of freeloaders and deadbeats means that rookie Americans, as a group, more than pay their way. — Jaclyn Fierman, Fortune, 9 Aug. 1993 a paucity of useful answers to the problem of traffic congestion at rush hour
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Recent Examples on the Web

But given the team’s paucity of talent, management gladly let the young fastballer eat up innings. Dan Greene,, "Flight of the Sole Man," 8 Mar. 2018 With the economy healthy, more Americans want to buy homes, but there is a paucity of houses for sale. Christopher Rugaber, Fox News, "Strong US growth likely drove healthy job gain in July," 3 Aug. 2018 The paucity of craters speckling Sputnik Planitia shows that the ice plain's surface has been shaped by geological activity recently. Mike Wall,, "Pluto Has Dunes, But They're Not Made of Sand," 31 May 2018 Bournemouth and Burnley, on the other hand, are current top 10 teams whose shots-to-goals ratio sees them in the wrong half of this particular table - the pair's paucity in front of goal ranking them 11th and 17th., "REVEALED: The EPL Club With the Best Shots-to-Goals Conversion Ratio This Season," 22 Feb. 2018 The paucity of federal funding for transit projects means that local ballots are critical in shaping how Americans travel, with decadeslong repercussions for the economy and the environment. Hiroko Tabuchi, Anchorage Daily News, "How the Koch brothers are killing public transit projects around the country," 19 June 2018 The paucity of craters speckling Sputnik Planitia shows that the ice plain’s surface has been shaped by geological activity recently. Mike Wall, Scientific American, "Pluto Has Dunes, But They’re Not Made of Sand," 1 June 2018 The movement aims to call attention to paucity of women and underrepresented minorities startups’ cap tables—the document that records who owns shares in a company, and how many. Kristen Bellstrom, Fortune, "Hope Hicks, #TheGapTable, Warren Buffett: Broadsheet March 1," 1 Mar. 2018 Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino has scoured far and wide for a new attacker to bolster his forward line in a bid to end his side's paucity in front of goal., "Southampton Reportedly Agree £19.1m Deal to Sign Monaco Striker Guido Carrillo," 24 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paucity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of paucity

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for paucity

Middle English paucite, from Latin paucitat-, paucitas, from paucus little — more at few

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Dictionary Entries near paucity



paucis verbis





Statistics for paucity

Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for paucity

The first known use of paucity was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of paucity

: a small amount of something : an amount that is less than what is needed or wanted

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More from Merriam-Webster on paucity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for paucity

Spanish Central: Translation of paucity

Nglish: Translation of paucity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of paucity for Arabic Speakers

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having a pattern of small flowers

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