modicum

If you want to describe a small amount of something, try modicum. If you have a modicum of interest in something, you are a little bit interested.

Modicum comes from the Latin modicus, for moderate, and modus, for measure. We often use it to mean "any at all," as if "If you had a modicum of sense (i.e. any sense at all), you'd be able to see that the pencil you've spent the last five minutes looking for is tucked behind your ear."

Definitions of modicum
  1. noun
    a small or moderate or token amount
    “"England still expects a modicum of eccentricity in its artists"- Ian Jack”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    small indefinite amount, small indefinite quantity
    an indefinite quantity that is below average size or magnitude
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$19.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$19.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week