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

Up on deck, the focus is simplicity: the less gear, the better. John Clarke, WSJ, "The New Fishing Vessel of Choice? Stand-Up Paddleboards," 15 Aug. 2018 Sometimes, the key to a great read is its simplicity. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "10 of the Best Reads in 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Herstory," 2 July 2018 The power and simplicity of both Mowalola’s and Robyn’s singular visions hit me right away at their graduate shows. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Menswear’s New Guard Won’t Conform: Meet the Designers Shaking Up Fashion East This January," 13 Nov. 2018 After paring back the intensity of her her Royal Tour schedule, the Duchess of Sussex is going all in on ease and simplicity—at least with her fashion choices. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Stepped Out in an Affordable, Eco-Friendly Dress on the Royal Tour of Australia," 22 Oct. 2018 While abstract expressionism resulted in an almost chaotic design style thanks to its emotional intensity, minimalism sought to pare down to an essential nature and remove all excess, creating harmony from simplicity. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "What Is Minimalism, Exactly?," 24 Sep. 2018 Unfortunately, such simplicity doesn't really extend to its installation. Steve Willson, Popular Mechanics, "How To Install An Electric Water Heater," 24 Aug. 2018 Vintage makeup from the art deco era was all about simplicity. Jamie Beckman, Allure, "Backstage Beauty Secrets From the Cast and Crew of Hamilton and Sleep No More," 13 Aug. 2018 That grid-of-apps home screen continues to put simplicity above all else. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Roku Premiere review: the cheapest way to 4K," 19 Oct. 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

16 Dec 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).


a knickknack or trinket

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