rar·​i·​ty | \ ˈrer-ə-tē \
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

Unlike a stamp or coin, though, the beauty holy grail is born out of the curse of abundance, not rarity. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "The “best” lipstick probably won’t change your life — but the search for it can," 12 Dec. 2018 Many direct flights add to the appeal, as does the new Silversands, a sleek, ultra modern resort (a rarity here) with 43 spacious suites—the smallest one 721 square feet—and the longest in infinity pool in the Caribbean. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "The Best Places to Travel in 2019," 7 Dec. 2018 The solo formal news conference—a rarity for Mr. Trump in his first two years in office—was marked by multiple occasions in which the president bristled at reporters’ questions. Vivian Salama, WSJ, "Trump, at News Conference, Vows to Retaliate Against Any Investigations," 7 Nov. 2018 The service offered apps for Mac, iOS, Android, and Windows (a rarity for third-party email apps) along with a variety of clever features like automatic inbox organization. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Newton Mail is shutting down in September," 7 Aug. 2018 The absence of low-level moisture produced three straight days with 100 percent of possible sunshine, a rarity for the Chicago area. Tom Skilling, chicagotribune.com, "Clouds to return as heat, humidity levels rise," 8 July 2018 That’s a rarity in this age of pop culture where taking the low, petty road has been praised. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Ariana Grande’s greatest asset isn’t her amazing voice. It’s her resilience.," 11 Nov. 2018 Oday Dahadha, Asal engineer Photo: Kobi Wolf for The Wall Street Journal Palestinians were once a rarity in Israel’s high-powered tech sector. Felicia Schwartz And Dov Lieber, WSJ, "Desperate for Tech Talent, Israel Turns to an Untapped Labor Pool: Palestinians," 10 Nov. 2018 Delevingne actually opened the Balmain show on Friday, which is a special occasion; since making the transition to acting, Delevingne has become a rarity on the runway. Kayleigh Roberts, Harper's BAZAAR, "Ashley Benson Wore Two Very Different Looks Out in Paris Today," 29 Sep. 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

7 Jan 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 \
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

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