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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for simplicity
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I must speak to Isy about it," answered James with simplicity.

    Salted With Fire George MacDonald
  • This simplicity will arise from sensibility, from being actuated by feelings.

    A Treatise on the Art of Dancing Giovanni-Andrea Gallini
  • Presently he was speaking with a simplicity and openness that he had not yet used with Katherine.

  • We will suppose the axis of the sun to be vertical for the sake of simplicity.

    Aether and Gravitation William George Hooper
  • He thought in his simplicity that there was some truth in the statement.

    Penguin Island Anatole France
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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