[ig-zig-yoo-uh s, ik-sig-]


scanty; meager; small; slender: exiguous income.

Origin of exiguous

1645–55; < Latin exiguus scanty in measure or number, small, equivalent to exig(ere) (see exigent) + -uus deverbal adj. suffix
Related formsex·i·gu·i·ty [ek-si-gyoo-i-tee] /ˌɛk sɪˈgyu ɪ ti/, ex·ig·u·ous·ness, nounex·ig·u·ous·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for exiguous

Historical Examples of exiguous

  • There are plenty of references to them indeed, but they are exiguous and dull.

  • For the inflated he cherishes a noiseless, most exiguous bodkin.

    Francis Beaumont: Dramatist

    Charles Mills Gayley

  • Liosha joined us, accompanied by a porter, carrying their exiguous baggage.


    William J. Locke

  • Often the Signal Office gives you the most exiguous information.

  • Flora saw her father trembling in all his exiguous length, though he held himself stiffer than ever if that was possible.


    Joseph Conrad

British Dictionary definitions for exiguous



scanty or slender; meagrean exiguous income
Derived Formsexiguity (ˌɛksɪˈɡjuːɪtɪ) or exiguousness, nounexiguously, adverb

Word Origin for exiguous

C17: from Latin exiguus, from exigere to weigh out; see exigent
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

Word Origin and History for exiguous

"scanty," 1650s, from Latin exiguus "small, petty, paltry, scanty in measure or number," from exigere (see exact).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper