paucity

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noun pau·ci·ty \ ˈpȯ-sə-tē \

Definition of paucity

1 :smallness of number :fewness
2 :smallness of quantity :dearth

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Examples of paucity in a Sentence

  1. If you had one of those Yugoslav names with a paucity of vowels, you might sprinkle in a few … —Calvin TrillinTime22 May 2000
  2. For my part, I find increasingly that I miss the simplicity, the almost willful paucity, of the English way of doing things. —Bill BrysonI'm a Stranger Here Myself1999
  3. This relative paucity of freeloaders and deadbeats means that rookie Americans, as a group, more than pay their way. —Jaclyn FiermanFortune9 Aug. 1993
  4. a paucity of useful answers to the problem of traffic congestion at rush hour

Recent Examples of paucity from the Web

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.

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."

Origin and Etymology of paucity

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


PAUCITY Defined for English Language Learners

paucity

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noun

Definition of paucity for English Language Learners

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



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