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[sim-plis-i-tee] /sɪmˈplɪs ɪ ti/
noun, plural simplicities.
the state, quality, or an instance of being simple.
freedom from complexity, intricacy, or division into parts:
an organism of great simplicity.
absence of luxury, pretentiousness, ornament, etc.; plainness:
a life of simplicity.
freedom from deceit or guile; sincerity; artlessness; naturalness:
a simplicity of manner.
lack of mental acuteness or shrewdness:
Politics is not a field for simplicity about human nature.
Origin of simplicity
1325-75; Middle English simplicite (< Old French simplicité) < Latin simplicitās simpleness, equivalent to simplici- (stem of simplex) simplex + -tās -ty2
Related forms
nonsimplicity, noun, plural nonsimplicities.
oversimplicity, noun
supersimplicity, noun
4. candor, directness, honesty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for simplicity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • simplicity and self-forgetfulness were manifest in carriage and utterance.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • Yet something new, inexplicable, thwarted her and changed the simplicity of her passion.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • The bluntness of Lizzie's speech disconcerted him, and yet the simplicity of it reassured him.

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • I did not laugh at her simplicity, nor did I smile or feel any inclination to smile.

    Green Mansions W. H. Hudson
  • He let them do so in the innocence of his heart and the simplicity of his mind.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
British Dictionary definitions for simplicity


the quality or condition of being simple
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
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Word Origin and History for simplicity

late 14c., "singleness of nature, unity, indivisibility; immutability," from Old French simplicite (12c., Modern French simplicité), from Latin simplicitatem (nominative simplicitas) "state of being simple, frankness, openness, artlessness, candor, directness," from simplex (genitive simplicis) "simple" (see simplex). Sense of "ignorance" is from c.1400; that of "simplicity of expression, plainness of style" is early 15c.

Middle English also had simplesse, from French, attested in English from mid-14c. in sense "humility, lack of pride," late 14c. as "wholeness, unity;" c.1400 as "ignorance."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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