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rarity

[rair-i-tee] /ˈrɛər ɪ ti/
noun, plural rarities.
1.
something rare, unusual, or uncommon:
Snowstorms are a rarity in the South.
2.
something esteemed or interesting in being rare, uncommon, or curious:
That folio is a rarity that will bring a good price.
3.
the state or quality of being rare.
4.
rare occurrence; infrequency:
Volcanic eruptions on the island occur with great rarity.
5.
unusual excellence.
6.
thinness, as of air or a gas.
Origin
1550-1560
1550-60; < Latin rāritās thinness, equivalent to rār(us) rare1 + -itās -ity
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for rarities
  • His expanding list of astonishing illegal rarities included panda skins and snow leopard pelts.
  • Masterpieces are commonplace in this show and rarities are not scarce.
  • At one side of this herb plot were other growths of a rustic pharmacopoeia, great treasures and rarities among the commoner herbs.
  • In the pre-computer era, teenage grandmasters were rarities and almost always destined to play for the world championship.
  • Small wonder, then, that the records have become such rarities.
  • On records, spooky symphonic rarities that go bump in the night.
  • Hence, overcast conditions and rain are rarities during the summer months.
  • If you're a fan of small-scale vintners, stock up on those rarities.
  • For many musicians, a boxed set is still mainly a summation of past releases with a few rarities thrown in.
  • The bigger picture is one of wildlife corridors, secret nature spots, and refuges for rarities.
British Dictionary definitions for rarities

rarity

/ˈrɛərɪtɪ/
noun (pl) -ties
1.
a rare person or thing, esp something interesting or valued because it is uncommon
2.
the state or quality of being rare
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rarities

rarity

n.

early 15c., "thinness;" 1550s, "fewness," from Middle French rarité or directly from Latin raritas "thinness, looseness of texture; fewness," from rarus (see rare (adj.1)). Sense of "a rare thing or event" is from 1590s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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