sim·​plic·​i·​ty | \ sim-ˈpli-sə-tē How to pronounce simplicity (audio) , -ˈpli-stē \
plural simplicities

Definition of simplicity

1 : the state of being simple, uncomplicated, or uncompounded
2a : lack of subtlety or penetration : innocence, naiveté
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 More than that, there is his music’s essential rigor and deceptive simplicity. Will Stephenson, Harper's Magazine, "The Well-Tempered Synthesizer," 15 Sep. 2020 Whether this ability to package simplicity and community together means pivoting her business, Huang is unsure. Ali Haider, Dallas News, "Culture shock: What the loss of communal dining means to our sense of connection," 3 Sep. 2020 Some dip stations allow for more diverse workouts, while others, like our top pick, AmazonBasics' Dip Fitness Bar, offer simplicity and strength. Anthony Marcusa,, "The best dip station," 22 Aug. 2020 Dallas defenders have referenced a more complicated scheme under coordinator Mike Nolan and defensive line coach Jim Tomsula than last year’s Rod Marinelli philosophy favoring speed and simplicity. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, "Dallas Cowboys DT Gerald McCoy out for season with torn quad tendon," 17 Aug. 2020 And though lake-home buyers are often in search of solitude and simplicity, properties with decent internet access are also in high demand. Jim Buchta, Star Tribune, "As Minnesota works from home, more ask: 'Why not make it Up North?'," 3 Aug. 2020 Baby boomers wax nostalgic about Louis Darling’s ink illustrations, with their elegant simplicity and retro styling. Anna Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Illustrators Brought the Spunky Ramona Quimby to Life," 3 Sep. 2020 That’s because pure pop, the kind that thrives on doing simplicity really well, is largely a niche art form now. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Katy Perry and the End of Pop," 1 Sep. 2020 An arrangement of a single flower variety offers elegant simplicity, while a mixed bouquet dials up the flair. Alicia Chilton, Better Homes & Gardens, "9 No-Fail Ways to Add Fall Decor to Your Bathroom," 31 Aug. 2020

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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Time Traveler for simplicity

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for simplicity

Last Updated

24 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Simplicity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for simplicity


How to pronounce simplicity (audio)

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 How to pronounce simplicity (audio) \
plural simplicities

Kids Definition of simplicity

1 : the quality or state of being simple or plain and not complicated or difficult
3 : directness or clearness in speaking or writing

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