From Latin exiguus (strict, exact), from exigere (to measure against a standard).


  • IPA(key): /ɪɡˈzɪɡju.əs/, /ɛɡˈzɪɡju.əs/
  • (file)


exiguous (comparative more exiguous, superlative most exiguous)

  1. scanty; meager
    • 1889Robert Louis Stevenson, The Wrong Box ch XIII
      The herdboy in the broom, already musical in the days of Father Chaucer, startles (and perhaps pains) the lark with this exiguous pipe.
    • 1912G. K. Chesterton, Manalive ch VII
      The path on which I then planted my feet was quite unprecedentedly narrow. I had never had to walk along a thoroughfare so exiguous.
    • 1998 — Michael Ignatieff, Rebirth of a Nation: An Anatomy of Russia. New Statesman, Feb 6.
      They are entering the market, setting up stalls on snowy streets, moonlighting to supplement exiguous incomes.
    • 2001, Terence Brown, The Life of W. B. Yeats: A Critical Biography:
      Among the pressures provoking these distresses were a father's financial inadequacy and a growing awareness that, by finding employment himself, he could ameliorate the family's exiguous circumstances.
    • 2012 — Rodger Cohen, Scottexalonia Rising, New York Times, Nov. 26., Op. Ed.
      National politics, as President François Hollande of France is only the latest to discover, is often no more than tweaking at the margins in the exiguous political space left by markets and other global forces.

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