pau·​ci·​ty ˈpȯ-sə-tē How to pronounce paucity (audio)
: smallness of number : fewness
: smallness of quantity : dearth

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Learn a Little About Paucity

Paucity refers to "littleness" in numbers (as in "a paucity of facts") or quantity ("a paucity of common sense"). The word comes from paucus, Latin for "little."

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
Recent Examples on the Web And what the surrogates have managed to highlight isn’t the person voters should choose but the paucity of their choices. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, 28 June 2024 Power paucity, water woes and heat stress Increasing nighttime heat is even more common in cities like Delhi because of the urban heat island effect, in which metro areas are significantly hotter than their surroundings. Esha Mitra, CNN, 21 June 2024 Beyond a paucity of data, the Alexa team also lacks access to the vast quantities of the latest Nvidia GPUs, the specialized chips used to train and run AI models, that the teams at OpenAI, Meta, and Google have, two sources told Fortune. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 13 June 2024 There was an immediate cry for reform but a paucity of specific suggestions. Mark Pazniokas, Hartford Courant, 5 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for paucity 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'paucity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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


Dictionary Entries Near paucity

Cite this Entry

“Paucity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


pau·​ci·​ty ˈpȯ-sət-ē How to pronounce paucity (audio)
: smallness of number or quantity : scarcity
a paucity of experience

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