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

The program's music store, brimming with hit singles and back-catalog rarities, eventually widened to include movies and television shows from leading Hollywood studios. Daniel Arkin, NBC News, "Apple is nixing iTunes. The fans — and the haters — bid farewell.," 3 June 2019 Noor, 33, was charged — a rarity when an on-duty officer shoots someone — and is now on trial for murder and manslaughter in the July 2017 death of Damond, a 40-year-old dual Australian American citizen. Amy Forliti, The Seattle Times, "Activists: Cop’s shooting of white woman treated differently," 13 Apr. 2019 The waist whittlers are far from inexpensive and range from $2,000 to roughly $5,000 depending on rarity. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Johnny Valencia Is Instagram’s “King of Corsets”," 20 Feb. 2019 The relative rarity of the condition suggests that a small number of people on the Panamanian coast were doing something more immersive—and diving for oysters fits the bill. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "The skulls of ancient pearl divers come with abnormal ear canal bone growths," 28 Dec. 2018 Must have been a combination of his highs and lows (including coming off the bench as a freshman to play a huge role in beating Wisconsin for the national championship) and the rarity of a high-profile player who stuck around four seasons. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Duke's Grayson Allen has plan to keep key question from NBA execs from tripping him up | Charlotte Observer," 17 May 2018 But the rarity of family meals across the socioeconomic divide may be just as damaging. Hattie Bernstein, BostonGlobe.com, "Teaching young kids how to junk bad eating habits," 11 May 2018 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 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

10 Jun 2019

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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

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