Definitions for: Scarce


[adv] by a small margin; "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"- W.B.Yeats
[adj] deficient in quantity or number compared with the demand; "fresh vegetables were scarce during the drought"
[adj] not enough; hard to find; "meat was scarce during the war"



Webster (1913) Definition: Scarce (sk[^a]rs), a. [Compar. Scarcer
(sk[^a]r"s[~e]r); 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.


Scarce, Scarcely Scarce"ly, 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.

Synonyms: barely, deficient, hardly, insufficient, just, rare, scarcely, tight

Antonyms: abundant

See Also: meager, meagerly, meagre

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