paucity was our Word of the Day on 04/13/2008. Hear the podcast!
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
Did You Know?
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
First Known Use: 15th century
PAUCITY Defined for English Language Learners
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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