sim·plic·i·ty | \sim-ˈpli-sə-tē, -ˈpli-stē\
plural simplicities

Definition of simplicity 

1 : the state of being simple, uncomplicated, or uncompounded

2a : lack of subtlety or penetration : innocence, naiveté

b : folly, silliness

3 : freedom from pretense or guile : candor

4a : directness of expression : clarity

b : restraint in ornamentation : austerity

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Examples of simplicity in a Sentence

People like the simplicity of the instructions. the simplicity of the music

Recent Examples on the Web

And in the case of that flag, a touch of simplicity, too. Andrew Keiper, Fox News, "Why US forces carry the American flag," 4 July 2018 The Wachowskis layered all the visual elements together to give the picture the crispness of two-dimensional animation, and the performances and writing have a similar, sometimes jolting, sort of simplicity to them. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The New Hollywood Speed Racer Didn't See Coming," 14 May 2018 Wild Turkey Gray Leech: A model of simplicity, this pattern, created by Tom Wendelberg of Madison, is tied from a single wild turkey feather. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: 13 famous Wisconsin fly patterns take center stage," 21 Apr. 2018 In fact, the unexpected virtue of simplicity was one of the most important lessons that had emerged from robotics. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "The Mind-Expanding Ideas of Andy Clark," 26 Mar. 2018 Here was this jeweler, heir to Jaipur’s Gem Palace, surrounded by spectacular things — jewelry encrusted with rubies, sapphires, and diamonds — who chooses to create for himself a home that is the essence of simplicity. Ingrid Abramovitch, ELLE Decor, "House Tour: Inside The Rustic Indian Farmhouse Where A Jewel Scion Feels Most At Home," 12 Dec. 2017 Then there are rarer creatures that demand simplicity above all — shows that find their true best form in concert. Laura Collins-hughes, New York Times, "Review: Joyously Rediscovering ‘Songs for a New World’," 28 June 2018 Google dominated this space with Chrome OS's simplicity, scalability, and tools for institutions to control students' use. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Acer Chromebook Tab 10 review: Chrome OS revives Google’s tablet future," 23 June 2018 Where the pilsner is a pristine example of simplicity, the farmhouse ale is an artful showcase of thought-provoking flavor. Alex Delany, Bon Appetit, "The 5 Styles of Beer That Will Get You Through a Hot, Hot Summer," 19 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for simplicity

Middle English simplicite, from Anglo-French simplicité, from Latin simplicitat-, simplicitas, from simplic-, simplex

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Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for simplicity

The first known use of simplicity was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for simplicity



English Language Learners Definition of simplicity

: the quality of being easy to understand or use

: the state or quality of being plain or not fancy or complicated

: something that is simple or ordinary but enjoyable


sim·plic·i·ty | \sim-ˈpli-sə-tē \
plural simplicities

Kids Definition of simplicity

1 : the quality or state of being simple or plain and not complicated or difficult

2 : sincerity

3 : directness or clearness in speaking or writing

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Comments on simplicity

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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