Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Extremely scanty; meager.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Small; slender; diminutive.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective rare Scanty; small; slender; diminutive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective scanty; meager

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

  • adjective extremely scanty

Etymologies

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

[From Latin exiguus, from exigere, to measure out, demand; see exact.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin exiguus, "strict, exact," hence "scanty, meager," from exigere, "to measure against a standard."

Examples

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

    Daredevil

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

Comments

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  • This word always makes me think of Sir Humphrey.

    September 22, 2007

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

    - Edith Wharton, The Reef

    June 28, 2008

  • I love the rhythm of this word.

    September 23, 2008

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

    September 30, 2009