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Definitionan insufficient quantity or number
Today, dearth is almost always used in the form: "a dearth of...", but in more archaic writing (such as many translations of Homer), dearth is used by itself to reference a famine (shortage of food) — as in: "Dearth never comes there, nor are the people plagued by any sickness..."
- There's a dearth of programming for all the new media outlets.
- The dearth of interest might have to do with holiday distractions.
- There's never a dearth of campaign promises.
- If there is a dearth of bats, the pigeon must serve us for the offering.Wole Soyinka -- Death and the King's Horseman
- He expounded on the lack of morality in the young, the dearth of organized religion in the home, the school, the workplace.J.D. Robb -- Naked in Death
- The physician had asked McAllister how he expected to replace him — there was a dearth of competent doctors in Macao.Robert Ludlum -- The Bourne Supremacy
- My eyes adjust to the dearth of light.Pittacus Lore -- I Am Number Four
- The dearth of strong moral character, of unbending righteousness, he felt, was their great shortcoming, and here he would begin.W. E. B. Du Bois -- The Souls of Black Folk
- The contralto will not care to catechise the bass; the tenor will foresee no embarrassing dearth of remark in evenings spent with the lovely soprano.George Eliot -- The Mill on the Floss
- We have numerous sharpshooters, but rather a dearth of camera crews.Suzanne Collins -- Mockingjay
- It offered a set of bona fide heroes rather than simply a dearth of villains.Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner -- Freakonomics
- To sojourn in that land He comes, invited by a younger son In time of dearth, a son whose worthy deeds Raise him to be the second in that realm Of Pharaoh.John Milton -- Paradise Lost
- Pity the dearth that I have pined in By longing for that food so long a time.William Shakespeare -- The Two Gentlemen of Verona
- Untimely storms make men expect a dearth.William Shakespeare -- The Life and Death of King Richard III
- Yet the world is full of 'dark silent men' and 'languorous brunettes' who haven't a brain in their heads, but somehow are never accused of the dearth."F. Scott Fitzgerald -- This Side of Paradise
- There was a dearth of pens that day in class.Julia Alvarez -- How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents
- There were fewer horses and camels to be seen, and a dearth of palanquins, but the streets teemed with children, beggars, and skinny dogs the color of sand.George R.R. Martin -- A Clash of Kings
- It was a fairly awful reminder, the dearth of good memories we had since our move, that my wife was forced to pick Hannibal for her treasure hunt.Gillian Flynn -- Gone Girl
- The heat had caused a dearth of conversation and made him welcome almost any question.Larry McMurtry -- Lonesome Dove
- The warrior-hall dinn'd now; unto all Danes there waxed, To the castle-abiders, to each of the keen ones, To all earls, as an ale-dearth.Unknown -- Beowulf