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Adjective, Adverb


Adjective scarce has 1 sense

Adverbial scarce has 1 sense

  • scarce(r = adv.all) barely, hardly, just, scarcely - only a very short time before; "they could barely hear the speaker"; "we hardly knew them"; "just missed being hit"; "had scarcely rung the bell when the door flew open"; "would have scarce arrived before she would have found some excuse to leave"


scarcea. [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.].
  •  Not plentiful or abundant; in small quantity in proportion to the demand; not easily to be procured; rare; uncommon.  [1913 Webster]
    "You tell him silver is scarcer now in England, and therefore risen one fifth in value."  [1913 Webster]
    "The scarcest of all is a Pescennius Niger on a medallion well preserved."  [1913 Webster]
  •  Scantily supplied (with); deficient (in); -- with of.  Milton.  [1913 Webster]
  •  Sparing; frugal; parsimonious; stingy.  Chaucer.  [1913 Webster]
To make one's self scarce, to decamp; to depart. [Slang]
Syn. -- Rare; infrequent; deficient. See Rare.
  •  With difficulty; hardly; scantly; barely; but just.  [1913 Webster]
    "With a scarce well-lighted flame."  [1913 Webster]
    "The eldest scarcely five year was of age."  [1913 Webster]
    "Slowly she sails, and scarcely stems the tides."  [1913 Webster]
    "He had scarcely finished, when the laborer arrived who had been sent for my ransom."  [1913 Webster]
  •  Frugally; penuriously.  Chaucer.  [1913 Webster]


scarce, adj. & adv.
1 (usu. predic.) (esp. of food, money, etc.) insufficient for the demand; scanty.
2 hard to find; rare.
--adv. archaic or literary scarcely.

make oneself scarce colloq. keep out of the way; surreptitiously disappear.
scarceness n.
ME f. AF & ONF (e)scars, OF eschars f. L excerpere: see EXCERPT



almost unheard-of, at a premium, barely, cheeseparing, chinchy, chintzy, curtailed, deficient, exiguous, failing, few, hardly, in short supply, inadequate, infrequent, insufficient, lacking, meager, miserly, niggardly, occasional, out of print, out of season, out of stock, piddling, poor, rare, scant, scanty, scarcely, scattered, scrimping, scrimpy, seldom, seldom met with, seldom seen, shortened, shy, skimping, skimpy, slim, slow, sparse, sporadic, spotty, sprinkled, stingy, thin, tight, truncated, uncommon, unfrequent, unique, unusual, wanting




N insufficiency, inadequacy, inadequateness, incompetence, deficiency, imperfection, shortcoming, paucity, stint, scantiness, none to spare, bare subsistence, scarcity, dearth, want, need, lack, poverty, exigency, inanition, starvation, famine, drought, dole, mite, pittance, short allowance, short commons, half rations, banyan day, emptiness, poorness, depletion, vacancy, flaccidity, ebb tide, low water, a beggarly account of empty boxes, indigence, insolvency, drain of resources, impoverish, stint, put on short allowance, do insufficiently, scotch the snake, Adj, insufficient, inadequate, too little, not enough, unequal to, incompetent, weighed in the balance and found wanting, perfunctory, deficient, wanting imperfect, ill-furnished, ill-provided, ill- stored, ill-off, slack, at a low ebb, empty, vacant, bare, short of, out of, destitute of, devoid of, bereft of, denuded of, dry, drained, unprovided, unsupplied, unfurnished, unreplenished, unfed, unstored, untreasured, empty-handed, meager, poor, thin, scrimp, sparing, spare, stinted, starved, starving, halfstarved, famine-stricken, famished, jejune, scant, scarce, not to be had, not to be had for love or money, not to be had at any price, scurvy, stingy, at the end of one's tether, without resources, in want, in debt, insufficiently, in default of, for want of, failing, semper avarus eget.


N infrequency, rareness, rarity, fewness, seldomness, uncommonness, unfrequent, infrequent, rare, rare as a blue diamond, few, scarce, almost unheard of, unprecedented, which has not occurred within the memory of the ol, not within one's previous experience, not since Adam, scarce as hen's teeth, one in a million, few and far between, seldom, rarely, scarcely, hardly, not often, not much, infrequently, unfrequently, unoften, scarcely, scarcely ever, hardly ever, once in a blue moon, once, once in a blue moon, once in a million years, once for all, once in a way, pro hac vice, ein mal kein mal.

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