Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Extremely scanty; meager.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. scanty; meager

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Scanty; small; slender; diminutive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Small; slender; diminutive.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. extremely scanty

Etymologies

From Latin exiguus, from exigere, to measure out, demand; see exact.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin exiguus, "strict, exact," hence "scanty, meager," from exigere, "to measure against a standard." (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • His exiguous chapter on slavery in American Notes was lazily annexed word-for-word from a famous abolitionist pamphlet of the day, and employed chiefly to discredit the whole American idea.

    The Dark Side of Dickens

  • So, I went to China with an exiguous expense account, a list of places to be visited and described and a very rudimentary command of Mandarin.

    A Conversation with Chris Stewart, author of Driving Over Lemons

  • He felt insecure because his Catholic education was so exiguous — it amounted to one year at a Jesuit prep school in England.

    Daredevil

  • Of course I have other reasons for thinking so -- dozens of exiguous threads which lead vaguely up towards the centre of the web where the poisonous, motionless creature is lurking.

    Chennai

  • The same Sunday Times which, in among exposés of torrid love affairs between teachers and schoolgirls in country towns, in among pictures of pouting starlets in exiguous bikinis, comes out with revelations of atrocities committed by the security forces, reports that the minister of the interior has granted a visa allowing Breyten Breytenbach to come back to the land of his birth to visit his ailing parents.

    From 'Summertime': Notebooks 1972–1975

  • This process is invoked to explain not only dream images, but any kind of mental impression, including impressions constituting voluntary thought: the latter occurs when we attend to one or another of the exiguous physical films that are continuously floating through the air.

    Epicurus

  • It has a downtown so exiguous that a pedestrian outside its biggest office building at 9 on a weekday morning is a phenomenon as singular as a cow in Times Square.

    Bye-Bye, Suburban Dream

  • I could with but slight difficulty find my way back to Jon IV, or Jon X, or Jon CLXXVI, Dei gratia capitulum, but Messrs. D & M do not even accord me that exiguous courtesy.

    Quakers in Spain

  • There is nothing like a dashing band of rebels fighting for a good cause – particularly a dashing band of Irish rebels – to make myth out of exiguous reality.

    The Rebel Had Second Thoughts

  • A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the unsatisfactory UGC Principles put together by media companies, particularly with regard to the exiguous recognition of fair use.

    Archive 2007-11-01

Comments

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  • –adjective scanty; meager; small; slender: exiguous income.

    September 30, 2009

  • I love the rhythm of this word.

    September 23, 2008

  • ...an exiguous and hesitating lift bore her up past a succession of shabby landings.

    - Edith Wharton, The Reef

    June 28, 2008

  • This word always makes me think of Sir Humphrey.

    September 22, 2007