• synonyms


noun, plural rar·i·ties.
  1. something rare, unusual, or uncommon: Snowstorms are a rarity in the South.
  2. something esteemed or interesting in being rare, uncommon, or curious: That folio is a rarity that will bring a good price.
  3. the state or quality of being rare.
  4. rare occurrence; infrequency: Volcanic eruptions on the island occur with great rarity.
  5. unusual excellence.
  6. thinness, as of air or a gas.
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Origin of rarity

1550–60; < Latin rāritās thinness, equivalent to rār(us) rare1 + -itās -ity
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for rarities

scarcity, oddity, anomaly, exception, irregularity, treasure, curio, gem, curiosity, wonder, antique

Examples from the Web for rarities

Contemporary Examples of rarities

Historical Examples of rarities

British Dictionary definitions for rarities


noun plural -ties
  1. a rare person or thing, esp something interesting or valued because it is uncommon
  2. the state or quality of being rare
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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 rarities



early 15c., "thinness;" 1550s, "fewness," from Middle French rarité or directly from Latin raritas "thinness, looseness of texture; fewness," from rarus (see rare (adj.1)). Sense of "a rare thing or event" is from 1590s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper