paucity

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle French paucité, from Old French, from Latin paucitas (a small number, fewness, scarcity), from paucus (few, little), from Proto-Indo-European *pau-, *ph₁w- (few, small) (English few).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈpɑsɪti/, /ˈpɔsɪti/

Noun[edit]

paucity (countable and uncountable, plural paucities)

  1. Fewness in number; too few.
    • 1915, Anna Katharine Green, The Golden Slipper, problem 7:
      But when I had crossed the threshold, I was astonished at the paucity of facts to be gleaned from the inmates themselves.
    • 2006, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, "Uncle Sam Wants You," Time, 13 July:
      Your tax refund might be late, owing to a paucity of number crunchers.
  2. A smallness in size or amount that is insufficient; meagerness, dearth.
    • 1898, Mark Twain, "At the Appetite-Cure":
      Now came shipwrecks and life in open boats, with the usual paucity of food.
    • 1915, Gene Stratton-Porter, Michael O'Halloran, ch. 12:
      Here is where the paucity of our language is made manifest.

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