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scant

[skant]
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adjective, scant·er, scant·est.
  1. barely sufficient in amount or quantity; not abundant; almost inadequate: to do scant justice.
  2. limited; meager; not large: a scant amount.
  3. barely amounting to as much as indicated: a scant two hours; a scant cupful.
  4. having an inadequate or limited supply (usually followed by of): scant of breath.
verb (used with object)
  1. to make scant; diminish.
  2. to stint the supply of; withhold.
  3. to treat slightly or inadequately.
adverb
  1. Scot. and North England Dialect. scarcely; barely; hardly.

Origin of scant

1325–75; Middle English (adj.) < Old Norse skamt, neuter of skammr short
Related formsscant·ly, adverbscant·ness, noun

Synonyms

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2. scanty, small, restricted. 4. short, lacking, wanting, deficient. 5. lessen, reduce, decrease, curtail. 6. limit, restrict, skimp, scrimp. 7. slight, neglect.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for scantly

Historical Examples

  • I scantly wis—marry, methinks with the Court, at this present.

    The White Rose of Langley

    Emily Sarah Holt

  • Come, Sir, I should scantly play the same trick on you twice.

  • You scantly looked, as methinks, for a visit of ours this even?

  • “That were scantly the mean, I take it,” quietly returned he.

    Robin Tremayne

    Emily Sarah Holt

  • “I scantly know, Jack,” answered he, shaking his white head.

    Robin Tremayne

    Emily Sarah Holt


British Dictionary definitions for scantly

scant

adjective
  1. scarcely sufficient; limitedhe paid her scant attention
  2. (prenominal) slightly short of the amount indicated; barea scant ten inches
  3. (postpositive foll by of) having a short supply (of)
verb (tr)
  1. to limit in size or quantity
  2. to provide with a limited or inadequate supply of
  3. to treat in a slighting or inadequate manner
adverb
  1. scarcely; barely
Derived Formsscantly, adverbscantness, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Old Norse skamt, from skammr /short; related to Old High German scam
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for scantly

adv.

late 14c., from scant + -ly (2). OED reports it "exceedingly common from the 15th to the middle of the 17th c.; in the 18th c. it had app. become obsolere; revived in literary use by Scott."

scant

adj.

mid-14c., from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse skamt, neuter of skammr "short, brief"), from Proto-Germanic *skamma- (cf. Old English scamm "short," Old High German skemmen "to shorten"), perhaps ultimately "hornless," from PIE *kem- (see hind (n.)). Also in Middle English as a noun, "scant supply, scarcity," from Old Norse. As a verb and adverb from mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper