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n. pl. sim·plic·i·ties
1. The property, condition, or quality of being simple or uncombined.
2. Absence of luxury or showiness; plainness.
3. Absence of affectation or pretense.
a. Lack of sophistication or subtlety; naiveté.
b. Lack of good sense or intelligence; foolishness.
a. Clarity of expression.
b. Austerity in embellishment.

[Middle English simplicite, from Old French, from Latin simplicitās, from simplex, simplic-, simple; see sem- in Indo-European roots.]


the quality or condition of being simple


(sɪmˈplɪs ɪ ti)

n., pl. -ties.
1. the state, quality, or an instance of being simple.
2. freedom from complexity or intricacy.
3. absence of luxury, pretentiousness, ornament, etc.; plainness.
4. freedom from deceit or guile; sincerity; artlessness.
[1325–75; (< Old French) < Latin simplicitās simpleness, derivative of simplic- (s. of simplex) simplex]



See Also: EASE

  1. As devoid of any taste for luxury as a stone-deaf person of the sense of hearing —Isak Dinesen
  2. Crude as life among farming people —Daniel Berrigan
  3. Great men, like nature, use simple language —Marquis de Luc de Clappiers Vauvenargues

    See Also: WORD(S), SPEAKING

  4. I am simple … just like that broken bottle. I have no secrets —John Updike
  5. Physically as plain as a pike —Charles Johnson

    A variation is to be “Plain as a pikestaff.”

  6. [Body as] plain as a cheap clothes-rack —Brian Moore
  7. Plain as a pine door —Sumner Locke Elliott
  8. Plain as black and white —Karl Shapiro
  9. (Hands) plain as blank pages —Gerald A. Browne
  10. Plain as English mutton —E. B. White
  11. Simple as a bucket —Paul Theroux
  12. Simple as a Hopper painting —Anon
  13. Simple as chessboards —George Bernard Shaw
  14. Simple as children’s cradle songs —Adrienne Rich
  15. (Words) simple as potatoes —Marge Piercy
  16. Simple as rain —Theodore Dreiser
  17. (Would that life were as) simple as sport —Rita Mae Brown
  18. Simple as the golden rule —Anon
  19. A very simple man … like a tree that has not many roots, but one tap-root that goes down deep —Willa Cather
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.simplicity - the quality of being simple or uncompounded; "the simplicity of a crystal"
quality - an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone; "the quality of mercy is not strained"--Shakespeare
complexity, complexness - the quality of being intricate and compounded; "he enjoyed the complexity of modern computers"
2.simplicity - a lack of penetration or subtlety; "they took advantage of her simplicity"
naiveness, naivete, naivety - lack of sophistication or worldliness
3.simplicity - absence of affectation or pretense
naturalness - the quality of being natural or based on natural principles; "he accepted the naturalness of death"; "the spontaneous naturalness of his manner"
4.simplicity - freedom from difficulty or hardship or effortsimplicity - freedom from difficulty or hardship or effort; "he rose through the ranks with apparent ease"; "they put it into containers for ease of transportation"; "the very easiness of the deed held her back"
effortlessness - the quality of requiring little effort; "such effortlessness is achieved only after hours of practice"
quality - an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone; "the quality of mercy is not strained"--Shakespeare
5.simplicity - lack of ornamentation; "the room was simply decorated with great restraint"
plainness - the appearance of being plain and unpretentious


1. straightforwardness, ease, clarity, obviousness, easiness, clearness, absence of complications, elementariness The apparent simplicity of his plot is deceptive.
straightforwardness difficulty, complexity, intricacy, lack of clarity, complicatedness
2. plainness, restraint, purity, clean lines, naturalness, lack of adornment fussy details that ruin the simplicity of the design
plainness decoration, embellishment, fussiness, ostentation, ornateness, elaborateness, fanciness




[sɪmˈplɪsɪtɪ] N
1. (= uncomplicated nature) [of solution, idea, plan] → sencillez f, simplicidad f
it's simplicity itselfes la sencillez personificada
2. (= unpretentiousness) [of dress, style, food] → sencillez f
3. (= ingenuousness) [of person, way of life] → simpleza f


[sɪmˈplɪsəti] n
[task, test, plot, diagram, idea] → simplicité f
it's simplicity itself → c'est la simplicité même
[food, dress, lifestyle, design] → simplicité f
dressed with elegant simplicity → vêtu avec une élégante simplicité


Einfachheit f; (= unworldliness, lack of sophistication: of decor, dress) → Schlichtheit f, → Einfachheit f; it’s simplicity itselfdas ist das Einfachste, das ist die einfachste Sache der Welt
(= foolishness)Einfalt f, → Einfältigkeit f


[sɪmˈplɪsɪtɪ] nsemplicità


(ˈsimpl) adjective
1. not difficult; easy. a simple task.
2. not complicated or involved. The matter is not as simple as you think.
3. not fancy or unusual; plain. a simple dress/design; He leads a very simple life.
4. pure; mere. the simple truth.
5. trusting and easily cheated. She is too simple to see through his lies.
6. weak in the mind; not very intelligent. I'm afraid he's a bit simple, but he's good with animals.
ˈsimpleton (-tən) noun
a foolish person.
simplicity (simˈplisəti) noun
the state of being simple. The beauty of this idea is its simplicity; He answered with a child's simplicity.
ˌsimplifiˈcation noun
1. the process of making simpler.
2. something made simpler; a simpler form. The Americans have made some simplifications in English spelling.
ˈsimplified adjective
made less difficult or complicated. simplified language/tasks.
ˈsimplify (-plifai) verb
to make simpler. Can you simplify your language a little?
ˈsimply adverb
1. only. I do it simply for the money.
2. absolutely. simply beautiful.
3. in a simple manner. She was always very simply dressed.
ˌsimple-ˈminded adjective
of low intelligence; stupid.
ˌsimple-ˈmindedness noun
References in classic literature ?
Meg was grateful to see that Miss Kate, though twenty, was dressed with a simplicity which American girls would do well to imitate, and who was much flattered by Mr.
Octavie wore a plain black dress, severe in its simplicity.
Clouded cotton stockings, and shoes, on one of the latter of which was a plated spur, completed the costume of the lower extremity of this figure, no curve or angle of which was concealed, but, on the other hand, studiously exhibited, through the vanity or simplicity of its owner.
Neither had success as yet affected their boyish simplicity and the frankness of old frontier habits; they played with their new-found riches with the naive delight of children, and rehearsed their glowing future with the importance and triviality of school-boys.
Yes," said Holgrave, "I dig, and hoe, and weed, in this black old earth, for the sake of refreshing myself with what little nature and simplicity may be left in it, after men have so long sown and reaped here.
The witnesses of Hester Prynne's disgrace had not yet passed beyond their simplicity.
She herself explained, for that matter, with the loveliest, eagerest simplicity.
At first they are overawing; their calm self-collectedness of simplicity seems a Socratic wisdom.
There was something about his whole air self-respecting and dignified, yet united with a confiding and humble simplicity.
He attracted me by three things: his candid simplicity, his marvelous familiarity with ancient armor, and the restfulness of his company -- for he did all the talking.
Excuse me, I see what a person of colossal ignorance and simplicity can do.
A brown spotted lady-bug climbed the dizzy height of a grass blade, and Tom bent down close to it and said, "Lady-bug, lady-bug, fly away home, your house is on fire, your children's alone," and she took wing and went off to see about it -- which did not surprise the boy, for he knew of old that this insect was credulous about conflagrations, and he had practised upon its simplicity more than once.