• simplistic
  • audio pronunciation
  • \sim-PLISS-tik\
  • DEFINITION

adjective

: excessively simple : not complete or thorough enough : not treating or considering all possibilities or parts
  • EXAMPLES

The statistics are based on a simplistic study of a small, unrepresentative population and cannot be applied to the broader population.

"Although the movie loses steam by its simplistic, rushed ending, it touts a strong script, one peppered with plenty of humor and funny asides, like Carl having no idea what Twitter is." — Lana Sweeten-Shults, Times Record News (Wichita Falls, TX), October 3, 2014

  • DID YOU KNOW?

"The facts of nature and of life are more apt to be complex than simple. Simplistic theories are generally one-sided and partial," wrote the American clergyman James Freeman Clarke in the 19th century, nicely illustrating the difference between plain, ordinary simple and the then-new adjective simplistic. Simplistic is generally synonymous with oversimplified, but we didn't have the verb oversimplify and its participle oversimplified until well into the 20th century. Simplistic is sometimes used in the neutral sense of "not complicated" (in which case it is synonymous with simple) but this borders on misuse—simplistic is generally understood to be pejorative.

Test Your Vocabulary: Fill in the blanks to create a word that can mean "food" or "writing or speech that is simplistic": p _ b _ lu _. The answer is …

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