rar·​i·​ty | \ ˈrer-ə-tē How to pronounce rarity (audio) \
plural rarities

Definition of rarity

1 : the quality, state, or fact of being rare
2 : one that is rare

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Examples of rarity in a Sentence

In most sports, athletes over the age of 50 are rarities. Snow is a rarity in this part of the world. He is selling most of his collection, keeping only the real rarities. The rarity of the disease makes it difficult to diagnose.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In a rarity in legislative meetings, many in the crowd burst into applause. Brendan Farrington, The Seattle Times, "Florida wrestles over felon voting rights restoration," 25 Mar. 2019 The down-to-the-wire finish was a rarity for the Bulldogs, who had only one other game decided by fewer than 14 points. Steven Wine, The Seattle Times, "Iowa rallies past No. 18 Mississippi State in Outback Bowl," 2 Jan. 2019 These injunctions used to be a rarity, but judges know that appeals can take months to get to the Supreme Court and in the meantime the executive branch is stymied. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Chief Justice and the President," 27 Dec. 2018 When airplane coffee won’t cut it: Copper Cow Coffee Vietnamese Coffee Kit with Sweetened Condensed Milk Pourover coffee is no longer a rarity, but pourover Vietnamese Coffee? Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "The Best On-the-Go Snacks to Get Before Holiday Travel Season," 6 Nov. 2018 For K-pop stars, having a consistent, signature look is a rarity. Devon Abelman, Allure, "The Rose Opens Up About the Pressure to Have Good Skin in K-Pop and Beyond," 5 Oct. 2018 Johnson said urban rescues are a rarity for the U.S. Coast Guard out of Elizabeth City. Emilie Ikeda, Fox News, "Florence hits home for Coast Guard members from North Carolina," 18 Sep. 2018 Asian actors on the silver screen are still a rarity: most films will cast one Asian character in a leading role, perhaps two at the most. Rae Chen, Teen Vogue, "And how the characters express class status through fashion.," 15 Aug. 2018 The public intellectual, at once producer of serious research and participant in a wider conversation, is increasingly a rarity. The Economist, "The death—or reinvention—of the French intellectual," 28 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rarity.' 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 rarity

1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for rarity

Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rarity

The first known use of rarity was in 1542

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More Definitions for rarity



English Language Learners Definition of rarity

: a person or thing that is not common or usual : a person or thing that is not seen or does not happen often
: something that is valuable because there are few of its kind
: the quality of being rare


rar·​i·​ty | \ ˈrer-ə-tē How to pronounce rarity (audio) \
plural rarities

Kids Definition of rarity

1 : the quality, state, or fact of being rare
2 : something that is uncommon

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More from Merriam-Webster on rarity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rarity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rarity

Spanish Central: Translation of rarity

Nglish: Translation of rarity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rarity for Arabic Speakers

Comments on rarity

What made you want to look up rarity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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