SYNONYMS FOR dearth
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Origin of dearth
Words nearby dearth
What does dearth mean?
A dearth of something is a lack or scarcity of it.
The word is especially used in serious situations in which there is a shortage of something important. It is usually followed by of and the thing that is lacking, as in a dearth of resources or a dearth of clean water.
Much less commonly, dearth is used in a more specific way to refer to a scarcity of food—a famine.
Example: The dearth of teachers has resulted in large class sizes.
Where does dearth come from?
The first records of the word dearth come from the 1200s. It comes from the Middle English word derthe. It’s essentially a combination of the adjective dear, in its outdated sense of “scarce” or “difficult to get,” and the suffix -th, which is used to turn adjectives into nouns, as in strength and depth.
Dearth can be used in contexts involving both the shortage of tangible things, as in There’s a dearth of medical clinics in the region, and intangible ones, as in There’s a dearth of research on the subject. In any case, it usually involves a shortage that’s serious and could cause problems. The words lack and scarcity are close synonyms, but they’re less formal.
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How is dearth used in real life?
Dearth is a somewhat formal term, but it can be used in everyday conversation. It’s often used in a serious context.
— Claire Helen Cameron (@ClaireHCameron) May 16, 2016
The dearth of information coming out of the White House about Trump's health has sparked a flurry of rumors among Washington diplomats — and concerns that U.S. adversaries may take advantage of the moment.https://t.co/lLqQZpVOql via @KimDozierhttps://t.co/JAPGRn4vDK
— TIMEPolitics (@TIMEPolitics) October 3, 2020
There is a dearth of leadership in this country. The media is not immune to it.
— Sebenzile Nkambule (@SebeNkambule) December 19, 2019
Try using dearth!
Is dearth used correctly in the following sentence?
There are dearth resources to address this issue.
Example sentences from the Web for dearth
While the national team has a wealth of attacking players, many of whom are performing at high levels in Europe, there is a dearth of strikers.Matthew Hoppe was a little-known American soccer player — until he reached the Bundesliga|Steven Goff|February 11, 2021|Washington Post
President Barack Obama’s Administration inherited this unfortunate state of affairs, but the public bristled at the dearth of criminal convictions for high-level corporate executives in the wake of that financial crisis.A Crime Epidemic Has Cost Americans Billions. Why Aren't More People Paying Attention?|Ankush Khardori|January 27, 2021|Time
So steady has Beekman been this season that he has started seven games despite a dearth of experience at the college level.Virginia is in a familiar spot at the top of the ACC, thanks to an uncommon scoring surge|Gene Wang|January 21, 2021|Washington Post
As a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, helping pregnant people navigate this dearth of research was part of Parchem’s job even before the pandemic.With Little Data to Guide Them, Pregnant Health Care Workers Are Stepping Up to Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19|Jamie Ducharme|January 21, 2021|Time
I have friends who complain daily about the dearth of available dating options.Carolyn Hax: With all of her boyfriend’s bull, should she steer clear of him?|Carolyn Hax|January 21, 2021|Washington Post
The Pentagon security reviewers must have been suffering a dearth of caffeine or sleep.‘They Don’t Call It SEAL Team 6-Year-Old for Nothing’: Commandos Clash Over Tell-All Book|Kimberly Dozier|November 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The FDA is hoping to remedy the dearth of knowledge with a plea aimed at influential drugmakers.
And the dearth of top Democratic visitors could have a real impact on down-ballot Democrats.Iowa Has a Phantom Democratic Presidential Candidates Problem|Ben Jacobs|July 8, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Like the people of Westeros, winter is coming and with it a dearth of Game of Thrones.‘Game of Thrones’ Withdrawal? Watch Nickelodeon’s Fantasy Epic ‘The Legend of Korra’|David Levesley|July 1, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Despite the dearth of decent sex education, most of us could figure out what had happened.Eastside Catholic: Break the Rules All You Want, Unless You’re Gay|Scott Bixby|January 24, 2014|DAILY BEAST
She had been confined to the house a month, and there had been, as a natural consequence, a great dearth of news.The World Before Them|Susanna Moodie
The mills, with their dyes and dirt, are also responsible for the dearth of trout.Angling Sketches|Andrew Lang
Great wealth cannot still hunger, but rather occasions more dearth, for where rich people are there things are always dear.
I have the honor to enclose the last gazettes, by which Congress will see the dearth of news in Europe at present.
A dearth of all sedentary resources became, when his youth passed away, his own constant reproach.Camilla|Fanny Burney