• synonyms


[mod-i-kuh m, moh-di-]
See more synonyms for modicum on Thesaurus.com
  1. a moderate or small amount: He hasn't even a modicum of common sense.
Show More

Origin of modicum

1425–75; late Middle English < Latin, noun use of neuter of modicus moderate, equivalent to modi-, combining form of modus limit (see mode1) + -cus adj. suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

shred, iota, ounce, speck, dash, touch, whit, trifle, little, minim, scrap, fraction, inch, jot, fragment, molecule, atom, mite, crumb, particle

Examples from the Web for modicum

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for modicum


  1. a small amount or portion
Show More

Word Origin

C15: from Latin: a little way, from modicus moderate
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 modicum


"small quantity or portion," late 15c., Scottish, from Latin modicum "a little," noun use of neuter of modicus "moderate, having a proper measure; ordinary, scanty, small, few," from modus "measure, manner" (see mode (n.1)).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper