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[paw-si-tee] /ˈpɔ sɪ ti/
smallness of quantity; scarcity; scantiness:
a country with a paucity of resources.
smallness or insufficiency of number; fewness.
Origin of paucity
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English paucite < Latin paucitās fewness, derivative of paucus few; see -ity Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for paucity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In the last act the paucity of material forced Wagner to spin his web very thin indeed.

  • So they went bobbing about in a tub, and we, with a like paucity of equipment, essayed to follow them.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • Perhaps he wished to atone for paucity of inspiration by elaborate labour.

    William Blake Irene Langridge
  • It seemed to her that never before had there been such a paucity of monarchists.

    The Martian Cabal Roman Frederick Starzl
  • Were they obliged from paucity of words to admit slaveholders into the Church?

British Dictionary definitions for paucity


smallness of quantity; insufficiency; dearth
smallness of number; fewness
Word Origin
C15: from Latin paucitās scarcity, from paucus few
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Contemporary definitions for paucity

an insufficiency; dearth

Word Origin

Latin paucus 'little''s 21st Century Lexicon
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Word Origin and History for paucity

late 14c., from Old French paucité (14c.) and directly from Latin paucitatem (nominative paucitas) "fewness, scarcity, a small number," from paucus "few, little," from PIE *pau-ko-, from root *pau- (1) "few, little" (cf. Latin paullus "little;" Old English feawe "few;" see few (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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