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

Muppet fans will surely recognize the intuitively expressive Henson style; others might admire the skill with which the writers balance simplicity (and humor) with the intensity and complexity of the plot. Hank Stuever, Washington Post, "There’s no better use of Netflix’s fortunes than this perfect revival of ‘Dark Crystal’," 29 Aug. 2019 Somehow, in another cocktail, that louche humor mixes with the weird Yankee virtues of thrift and simplicity, virtues that are on paradoxically conspicuous display in Mount Desert Island’s Northeast Harbor. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, "Memories of Maine," 22 Aug. 2019 Where other quarterbacks were forced to adjust to the Air Raid’s simplicity, Slovis’ grasp felt preternatural. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, "USC quarterback Kedon Slovis is not the guy yet but not an afterthought either," 21 Aug. 2019 His buildings have a moving simplicity, the restraint and humility of a Mozart sonata., "Celebrating architect Pietro Belluschi’s 120th anniversary: You’re invited to walking tours, talks this weekend," 16 Aug. 2019 But for Steinerberger and coauthor Samuel G.B Johnson, beauty is made up of nine separate components: seriousness, universality, profundity, novelty, clarity, simplicity, elegance, intricacy, and sophistication. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Math Is As Beautiful As Art," 15 Aug. 2019 The program emphasizes simplicity, efficiency and leave-no-trace principles, while keeping costs in check and pack weight low., "Brecksville Reservation programs offer insights for both experienced and novice backpackers," 26 July 2019 To some, the grandstanding was at odds with Rome’s republican values of simplicity, discipline, dignity, and virtue. Andrea Frediani, National Geographic, "Julius Caesar came. He saw. He conquered. Here's how Rome celebrated.," 10 July 2019 The song has since been included in many Christian hymnals, its popularity stemming from its austere, beautiful simplicity. Time, "A 1974 Hymn Called 'Sing Hallelujah to the Lord' Has Become the Anthem of the Hong Kong Protests," 20 June 2019

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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Statistics for simplicity

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

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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 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
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).


to make a temporary encampment

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