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[rair-i-tee] /ˈrɛər ɪ ti/
noun, plural rarities.
something rare, unusual, or uncommon:
Snowstorms are a rarity in the South.
something esteemed or interesting in being rare, uncommon, or curious:
That folio is a rarity that will bring a good price.
the state or quality of being rare.
rare occurrence; infrequency:
Volcanic eruptions on the island occur with great rarity.
unusual excellence.
thinness, as of air or a gas.
Origin of rarity
1550-60; < Latin rāritās thinness, equivalent to rār(us) rare1 + -itās -ity Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for rarity
  • It so happens that a true trombone virtuoso is a rarity.
  • Letters to the editor by aggrieved authors show that reviewing without reading is no rarity.
  • All the edges of this rarity are uncut, except the top edge.
  • But another attention-raising factor was present, too: the rarity of an academic collapse.
  • rarity is not merely determined by the number of individuals in a species, it is also about how unusual that species is.
  • And trees remained a rarity for the next four million years.
  • In other words tour implication is false, but your statement about rarity is obviously true.
  • One reason for their excitement is the growing rarity of the objects.
  • At the same time, the rarity of execution means it is no deterrent.
  • While there are some power users on campus, their presence is a rarity among the rest of the student population.
British Dictionary definitions for rarity


noun (pl) -ties
a rare person or thing, esp something interesting or valued because it is uncommon
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 rarity

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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