For the longest time I thought this word had the exact opposite meaning - an abundance, plenty. This resulted in me meaning the opposite of what I said whenever I used the term.

Hilarity ensued when I would compliment the host on the dearth of cute boys at the party, etc...

To this day, when I hear "dearth" I picture a chest or coffer overflowing with stuff.

Did I mention I'm profoundly dyslexic?

Dearth (?), n. [OE. derthe, fr. dere. See Dear.]

Scarcity which renders dear; want; lack; specifically, lack of food on account of failure of crops; famine.

There came a dearth over all the land of Egypt. Acts vii. 11.

He with her press'd, she faint with dearth. Shak.

Dearth of plot, and narrowness of imagination. Dryden.


© Webster 1913.

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