Definitions

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

  • n. Smallness of number; fewness.
  • n. Scarcity; dearth: a paucity of natural resources.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Fewness in number; too few.
  • n. A smallness in size or amount that is insufficient; meagerness, dearth.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Fewness; smallness of number; scarcity; rarity.
  • n. Smallness of quantity; exiguity; insufficiency.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Smallness of number; fewness.
  • n. Smallness of quantity; scantiness.

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

  • n. an insufficient quantity or number

Etymologies

Middle English paucite, from Old French, from Latin paucitās, from paucus, few.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin paucitas ("a small number, fewness, scarcity"), from paucus ("few, little"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Flash works when time is in paucity, and when readers need a tiny piece of wonderful writing to make them smile.

    How to Write Engaging Work in a Land of Rules

  • “The Progressive Era,” concluded Kolko, “was characterized by a paucity of alternatives to the status quo, a vacuum that permitted political capitalism to direct the growth of individualism in America, to shape its politics, to determine the ground rules for American civilization in the twentieth century, and to set the stage for what was to follow.”

    Interpretations of American History

  • Some writers would not use the word paucity in this place without first knowing the meaning of it, but I am not that way.

    Remarks

  • The Blur frontman said he would not be taking part in Live 8 and called the paucity of African and black artists on the bill an “oversight” on the part of the organizers.

    Clear Blur | PopPolitics.com

  • Impoverishment refers to a paucity of species in certain places; disharmony refers to unequal representation of species, or groups of species, in different places.

    The Song of The Dodo

  • Recalling the paucity of firearms among the people on the boat he felt that a single weapon could be ill spared.

    The Jungle Fugitives A Tale of Life and Adventure in India Including also Many Stories of American Adventure, Enterprise and Daring

  • He came up with that conclusion after receiving a "paucity" of answers from Genachowski on the move.

    Rep. Dingell tells FCC to drop move for broadband regulations

  • MCN: You said at the Cable Show that you believed cable operators were not going to discriminate in their broadband business and you cited the 'paucity' of violations.

    Multichannel News: Cable Operators

  • There are a lot of managers in the Premier League that would love to suffer with such "paucity" of resources.

    SI.com

  • Frank Field, an arch-critic of Mr Brown, attacked the "paucity" of the Government's programme, saying: "Week after week MPs have been turning up but with almost no serious work to do."

    Evening Standard - Home

Comments

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  • 'Mangel' TOP 10: 4)

    S: Scarcity / Scarceness, Sparsity / Sparseness, Absence, Lack, Deficiency

    A: Abundance, Affluance, Sufficiency, Plenty

    October 25, 2013

  • Dictionary.com, A paucity of useful answers to the problem of traffic congestion at rush hour

    November 5, 2010

  • the paucity and heterogeneity of the available clinical research in some specific areas precluded this approach and favoured a narrative survey.

    January 13, 2010

  • I tell my students -- "Want in? Learn to drop 'a paucity of research in X.' You'll sound really impressive." (Dearth is last year - or last decade. Or something.)

    June 28, 2008