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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.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


the quality or condition of being simple
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



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
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


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
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


[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
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[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
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


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
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[sɪmˈplɪsɪtɪ] nsemplicità
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(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
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
With his knowledge of languages, the respect shown him by the French, his simplicity, his readiness to give anything asked of him (he received the allowance of three rubles a week made to officers); with his strength, which he showed to the soldiers by pressing nails into the walls of the hut; his gentleness to his companions, and his capacity for sitting still and thinking without doing anything (which seemed to them incomprehensible), he appeared to them a rather mysterious and superior being.
Riviere added with simplicity that he should then have to look out for another job.
Clever are they--they have dexterous fingers: what doth MY simplicity pretend to beside their multiplicity!
Meantime intelligent, with a sort of lofty simplicity, and curious at heart, but not like many women merely of social gossip, she amused her age by attracting within her ken through the power of her great, almost historical, social prestige everything that rose above the dead level of mankind, lawfully or unlawfully, by position, wit, audacity, fortune or misfortune.
Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.
A bride, you know, must appear like a bride, but my natural taste is all for simplicity; a simple style of dress is so infinitely preferable to finery.
The carriage of her head was no whit less noble than the queenly carriage of her limbs, and her glorious chestnut hair, full of warm tints of gold, was massed in a sumptuous simplicity above a neck that would have made an average woman's fortune.
"Pray for me," he says upon the eve of each of his excursions, and returning, with an equal simplicity, he renders thanks "after supper in the little room where he kept his barometers."
Perceiving their simplicity, he cast down a huge log into the lake.
The simplicity of the good old Puritan times was fast disappearing.
When I remembered that these islanders derived no advantage from dress, but appeared in all the naked simplicity of nature, I could not avoid comparing them with the fine gentlemen and dandies who promenade such unexceptionable figures in our frequented thoroughfares.
Then beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity,--I mean the true simplicity of a rightly and nobly ordered mind and character, not that other simplicity which is only an euphemism for folly?