Sparsity is the condition of not having enough of something. You might notice the sparsity of hair on your grandpa's head — but if you're polite, you won't bring it up.

You can talk about the sparsity of grass in your brown and patchy lawn, or the sparsity of customers at your mac-and-cheese food truck. Whenever there's a shortage, a lack, or a deficiency of something, it's in a state of sparsity. Sparsity comes from the Latin sparsus, the past participle of a verb meaning "to strew or scatter."

Definitions of sparsity
  1. noun
    the property of being scanty or scattered; lacking denseness
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’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.


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


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


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week