Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The saddest words

dearth

[durth] /dɜrθ/
noun
1.
an inadequate supply; scarcity; lack:
There is a dearth of good engineers.
2.
scarcity and dearness of food; famine.
Origin of dearth
1200-1250
First recorded in 1200-50, dearth is from the Middle English word derthe. See dear1, -th1
Can be confused
dearth, plethora.
dearth, death.
Synonyms
1. shortage, want, paucity, insufficiency.
Antonyms
1. abundance, plenty, sufficiency; surplus.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for dearth
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for dearth

dearth

/dɜːθ/
noun
1.
an inadequate amount, esp of food; scarcity
Word Origin
C13: derthe, from dērdear
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for dearth
n.

mid-13c., derthe "scarcity" (originally used of famines, when food was costly because scarce; extended to other situations of scarcity from early 14c.), abstract noun formed from root of Old English deore "precious, costly" (see dear) + abstract noun suffix -th (2). Common Germanic formation, though not always with the same sense (cf. Old Saxon diurtha "splendor, glory, love," Middle Dutch dierte, Dutch duurte, Old High German tiurida "glory").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for dearth

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for dearth

10
9
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for dearth