[ mod-i-kuh m, moh-di- ]
/ ˈmɒd ɪ kəm, ˈmoʊ dɪ- /


a moderate or small amount: He hasn't even a modicum of common sense.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for modicum

British Dictionary definitions for modicum


/ (ˈmɒdɪkəm) /


a small amount or portion

Word Origin for modicum

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)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper