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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

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