Definitions

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

  • n. The property, condition, or quality of being simple or uncombined.
  • n. Absence of luxury or showiness; plainness.
  • n. Absence of affectation or pretense.
  • n. Lack of sophistication or subtlety; naiveté.
  • n. Lack of good sense or intelligence; foolishness.
  • n. Clarity of expression.
  • n. Austerity in embellishment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The quality or state of being simple, unmixed, or uncompounded; as, the simplicity of metals or of earths.
  • n. The quality or state of being not complex, or of consisting of few parts; as, the simplicity of a machine.
  • n. Artlessness of mind; freedom from cunning or duplicity; lack of acuteness and sagacity.
  • n. Freedom from artificial ornament, pretentious style, or luxury; plainness; as, simplicity of dress, of style, or of language; simplicity of diet; simplicity of life.
  • n. Freedom from subtlety or abstruseness; clearness; as, the simplicity of a doctrine; the simplicity of an explanation or a demonstration.
  • n. Weakness of intellect; silliness; folly.
  • n. An act or instance of foolishness.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The quality or state of being simple, unmixed, or uncompounded.
  • n. The quality or state of being not complex, or of consisting of few parts.
  • n. Artlessness of mind; freedom from cunning or duplicity; lack of acuteness and sagacity.
  • n. Freedom from artificial ornament, pretentious style, or luxury; plainness.
  • n. Freedom from subtlety or abstruseness; clearness.
  • n. Weakness of intellect; silliness; folly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state or property of being simple
  • n. Freedom from complexity or intricacy.
  • n. Freedom from difficulty of execution or understanding; easiness; especially, lack of abstruseness; clearness; also, an instance or illustration of simple clearness.
  • n. Freedom from artificial ornament; plainness, as of dress, style, or the like.
  • n. Artlessness of mind or conduct; unaffectedness; sincerity; absence of parade or pretense.
  • n. Ignorance arising from lack either of education or of intelligence; especially, lack of common sense; foolishness; childishness; also, an act of folly; a foolish mistake.
  • n. Synonyms See simple.

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

  • n. the quality of being simple or uncompounded
  • n. a lack of penetration or subtlety
  • n. absence of affectation or pretense
  • n. lack of ornamentation
  • n. freedom from difficulty or hardship or effort

Etymologies

Middle English simplicite, from Old French, from Latin simplicitās, from simplex, simplic-, simple; see sem-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French simplicite, from Latin simplicitas, from simplex ("simple"); see simple. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • The hunger, in its vicious simplicity, teaches you how to be a werewolf. From "The Last Werewolf" by Glen Duncan.

    April 1, 2012

  • The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity. Walt Whitman, Preface 1855

    December 9, 2006

  • To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, not even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust.
    Henry David Thoreau

    December 8, 2006