English edit

Etymology edit

rare +‎ -ity, borrowed from Middle French rarité, from Latin rāritās; compare French rareté. See also rare.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

rarity (plural rarities)

  1. A measure of the scarcity of an object.[2]
  2. (chemistry, of a gas) Thinness; the property of having low density
    • 1927, H. P. Lovecraft, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath:
      Only the increasing rarity bothered him, and he thought that perhaps it was this which had turned the heads of other travellers and excited those absurd tales of night-gaunts whereby they explained the loss of such climbers as fell from these perilous paths.
  3. A rare object.
    • 2013 May-June, David Van Tassel, Lee DeHaan, “Wild Plants to the Rescue”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3:
      Plant breeding is always a numbers game. [] In addition, we are looking for rare alleles, so the more plants we try, the better. These rarities may be new mutations, or they can be existing ones that are neutral—or are even selected against—in a wild population. A good example is mutations that disrupt seed dispersal, leaving the seeds on the heads long after they are ripe.

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References edit

  1. ^ Jespersen, Otto (1909) A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles (Sammlung germanischer Elementar- und Handbücher; 9)‎[1], volume I: Sounds and Spellings, London: George Allen & Unwin, published 1961, § 4.71, page 140.
  2. ^ rarity”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.