Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of scarce
Meaning of scarce by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Northern Old French scars, escars ( > French échars ), from Late Latin *scarsus, probably originally a participle form of *excarpere ( “take out” ), from Latin ex- + carpere .


    • ( UK ) IPA: /ˈskɛːs/, X-SAMPA: /"skE@s/
    • ( US ) IPA: /ˈskɛɚs/, X-SAMPA: /"skE@`s/


    scarce ( comparative scarcer, superlative scarcest )

    1. Uncommon, rare; difficult to find; insufficient to meet a demand .


    scarce ( not comparable )

    1. ( now literary, archaic ) Scarcely, only just.

    See also


    • arcsec

Explanation of scarce by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. only a very short time before

    2. had scarcely rung the bell when the door flew open
      would have scarce arrived before she would have found some excuse to leave- W.B.Yeats
    1. deficient in quantity or number compared with the demand

    2. fresh vegetables were scarce during the drought

    Definition of scarce by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Scarce ( skârs ), a. [Compar. Scarcer ( skârsẽr ); superl. Scarcest.] [OE. scars, OF. escars, eschars, LL. scarpsus, excarpsus, for L. excerptus, p. p. of excerpere to pick out, and hence to contract, to shorten; ex ( see Ex- ) + carpere. See Carpet, and cf. Excerp.]
      1. Not plentiful or abundant; in small quantity in proportion to the demand; not easily to be procured; rare; uncommon.

      You tell him silver is scarcer now in England, and therefore risen one fifth in value. Locke.

      The scarcest of all is a Pescennius Niger on a medallion well preserved. Addison.

      2. Scantily supplied ( with ); deficient ( in ); -- with of. [Obs.] “A region scarce of prey.” Milton.

      3. Sparing; frugal; parsimonious; stingy. [Obs.] “Too scarce ne too sparing.” Chaucer.

      To make one's self scarce, to decamp; to depart. [Slang]

      Syn. -- Rare; infrequent; deficient. See Rare.

    2. Scarce, Scarcely, adv.
      1. With difficulty; hardly; scantly; barely; but just.

      With a scarce well-lighted flame. Milton.

      The eldest scarcely five year was of age. Chaucer.

      Slowly she sails, and scarcely stems the tides. Dryden.

      He had scarcely finished, when the laborer arrived who had been sent for my ransom. W. Irving.

      2. Frugally; penuriously. [Obs.] Chaucer.