Definition of simplicity in US English:



  • 1The quality or condition of being easy to understand or do.

    ‘for the sake of simplicity, this chapter will concentrate on one theory’
    • ‘Clarity, simplicity, honesty and trust are at the heart of what the business is going to be about.’
    • ‘The joy of opposition is its simplicity; Ukrainians understood what we opposed and stood side by side with us.’
    • ‘They hunger for the riches of our faith presented with directness, simplicity, and truth.’
    • ‘The shortest of the books under review, it has the merits of concision, clarity, and simplicity.’
    • ‘Like all absolutist dogmas, this combination of axiom and corollaries appeals in its simplicity and directness.’
    • ‘For the sake of simplicity, criminals can be broken down into two categories here.’
    • ‘This is a delightful and human film, one that uses its simplicity to cut straight to the heart.’
    • ‘For simplicity's sake we could divide gun owners into two camps.’
    • ‘That's an unending quest - to understand how the simplicity led to complexity.’
    • ‘Their high energy and simplicity make them easy to absorb and enjoy, but also bring them to the brink of monotony.’
    • ‘Clarity, simplicity and effective communication are among the key qualities of his theory.’
    • ‘The effects at the population level, for the sake of simplicity, are assessed in arthropods.’
    • ‘By sacrificing simplicity and clarity they can avoid responsibility and accountability.’
    • ‘Aim for clarity and simplicity when writing the final version.’
    • ‘Surely, the other argument is that due to their simplicity, blogs are easier to customise and fit in with complex designs.’
    • ‘For purposes of simplicity and coherence, we tell this story as a chronological account constructed in terms of our toolkit ideas.’
    • ‘Part, but by no means all, of the attractiveness of the assimilationist ideal is its clarity and simplicity.’
    • ‘Its very simplicity and directness has always made Islam a religion with great appeal.’
    • ‘There was a reason for this, and the reason was simplicity and accessibility.’
    • ‘Let's pretend, for the sake of simplicity, that you only have two items in your portfolio.’
    clarity, clearness, plainness, simpleness, intelligibility, comprehensibility, understandability, lucidity, lucidness, coherence, directness, straightforwardness, accessibility
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The quality or condition of being plain or natural.
      ‘the grandeur and simplicity of Roman architecture’
      • ‘The final design emphasizes its simplicity, heavily relying on upstage lighting technique and set movement.’
      • ‘Refinement and sensibility as well as simplicity are still the best standards of web design!’
      • ‘That's why in today's modern interior design, simplicity is the key to an efficient design.’
      • ‘The store has an overriding accent on simplicity of design and ease of shopping for the customers.’
      • ‘Elegant simplicity in design and in the final product is what counts here.’
      • ‘The obtained data are particularly convincing by virtue of the bioscope's simplicity in design.’
      • ‘The sheer simplicity of this pair of sandals underscores the simplicity of the entire line.’
      • ‘I snapped a few images of Evan's crib because his parents marveled at its simplicity and design.’
      • ‘As with other fashion accessories, opt for simplicity when selecting your winter hat.’
      • ‘The simplicity of her designs here, the aura of unforced beauty truly took them to the next level.’
      • ‘On a micro level, simplicity in design presents the audience with only the most relevant information.’
      • ‘The simplicity of the design allows for quick and easy set up anywhere around town where concrete exists.’
      • ‘They range from lovely, understated elegance and simplicity to wild extravagance.’
      • ‘I do love Ransom's drawings, for their simplicity of line and the purity of their excitement.’
      • ‘Google understands that simplicity is both sacred and central to its competitive advantage.’
      • ‘We've tried to keep to some of the basic color scheme and, I hope, the relative simplicity of the design.’
      • ‘There is no extraneous body cladding, in keeping with the Swedish design ethos of simplicity.’
      • ‘The design was created for simplicity and ruggedness and the main structure was all metal.’
      • ‘The judging panel was very impressed by the overall layout and simplicity of the design of their advert.’
      • ‘The current design stresses speed and simplicity but it's become very cluttered over the years.’
      plainness, absence of adornment, lack of adornment, absence of decoration, lack of decoration, absence of ornament, absence of ornamentation, lack of ornament, lack of ornamentation, absence of embellishment, lack of embellishment, unpretentiousness
      unpretentiousness, ordinariness, lack of sophistication, lack of affectation, naturalness, modesty, homeliness, wholesomeness, quietness
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A thing that is plain, natural, or easy to understand.
      ‘the simplicities of pastoral living’
      • ‘This accessible mini-biography rejects these simplicities and presents a much more rounded account.’
      • ‘Computers make this complex architecture possible, obviating the simplicities of serial production.’
      • ‘The world is too complex and dangerous for his pious simplicities.’
      • ‘For city-dwellers, rural Kerala (and Kerala is essentially rural, since the countryside envelops the towns in a seamless web) was a world of rustic simplicities and private inconveniences.’
      • ‘Decisive during the simplicities of battle, without her he would forever be a waverer in the complexities of peace: more Hamlet, indeed, than Macbeth.’
      • ‘He kept waving him off, pouring the matter into legalistic simplicities that easily rounded the contract.’
      • ‘Once or twice I did worry that the enormous complexity of human affairs was being contrasted to the regular simplicities of nature and its cycles of life.’
      • ‘Football, management, is about mastered simplicities, repeatedly choreographed and rehearsed, so that they become adroitly performed.’
      • ‘Lexical skills go well beyond the simplicities of printed words with white space on either side.’
      • ‘The responses of some are unsettling and go far beyond the simplicities of political satire.’
      • ‘All of which makes one nostalgic for the simplicities of the Second World War, when war correspondents on both sides were expected to be unquestioning patriots.’
      • ‘Otherwise it will not have much work to do, because science is now beyond the wit of ordinary simplicities.’
      • ‘Maeve grumbled about how these people didn't understand the fundamental simplicities of adding on.’
      • ‘It was the standard ‘common sense’ of the ignorant unencumbered by rigorous analysis, yet there was often a nagging grain of truth in his half-baked simplicities.’
      • ‘We are more than consumers, and those other realities always undermine the simplicities of ‘consumerism’.’
      • ‘He sounds those same simplicities of profound music Blake also knew.’
      • ‘Joshua found himself unable to alter his gaze upon this, one of the simplicities he undeniably loved.’
      • ‘He could cut straight through the guff to the heart of sport's simplicities.’
      • ‘He has had a four-decade-long artistic career that spans a seismic shift in the character of New Zealand society: the shift from monolithic simplicities to multicultural complexity.’
      • ‘Many such analytical simplicities must change; particularly because they are predicated on Eurocentric assumptions.’
      straightforwardness, ease, easiness, simpleness, absence of complication, lack of complication, effortlessness, manageability
      View synonyms


  • be simplicity itself

    • Be extremely easy.

      • ‘This superb recipe is simplicity itself but it is easier if you know that eight anchovy fillets constitute a 50g tin.’
      • ‘He scored three goals, all of which were simplicity itself, to take his tally for the season to nine and his presence will make his side a real force in the Conference this season.’
      • ‘Installation of all these cards was simplicity itself.’
      • ‘The design is simplicity itself - a single piece of moulded transparent plastic wraps around itself to form an innovative sort of chaise longue.’
      • ‘Their goal came in the 43rd minute and it was simplicity itself.’


Late Middle English: from Old French simplicite or Latin simplicitas, from simplex (see simplex).