Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[skant] /skænt/
adjective, scanter, scantest.
barely sufficient in amount or quantity; not abundant; almost inadequate:
to do scant justice.
limited; meager; not large:
a scant amount.
barely amounting to as much as indicated:
a scant two hours; a scant cupful.
having an inadequate or limited supply (usually followed by of):
scant of breath.
verb (used with object)
to make scant; diminish.
to stint the supply of; withhold.
to treat slightly or inadequately.
Scot. and North England Dialect. scarcely; barely; hardly.
Origin of scant
1325-75; Middle English (adj.) < Old Norse skamt, neuter of skammr short
Related forms
scantly, adverb
scantness, noun
2. scanty, small, restricted. 4. short, lacking, wanting, deficient. 5. lessen, reduce, decrease, curtail. 6. limit, restrict, skimp, scrimp. 7. slight, neglect. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for scantly
Historical Examples
  • I scantly know, Isoult, if thou wilt be glad to see us, considering the ill news we bring.

    Robin Tremayne Emily Sarah Holt
  • Come, Sir, I should scantly play the same trick on you twice.

    The White Rose of Langley Emily Sarah Holt
  • You scantly looked, as methinks, for a visit of ours this even?

    The White Rose of Langley Emily Sarah Holt
  • “I scantly know, Jack,” answered he, shaking his white head.

    Robin Tremayne Emily Sarah Holt
  • Albeit at the beginning it was against their wills, and scantly would they receive it.

    Against War Erasmus
  • Such a fright have I had this morrow, I may scantly hold my pen.

    Joyce Morrell's Harvest Emily Sarah Holt
  • Before stuffing rub over the whole inside lightly with soft butter or bacon fat, pepper it scantly, and rub on a very little salt.

    Dishes & Beverages of the Old South Martha McCulloch Williams
  • Only it all seems to mean that I shall see you all but scantly and remotely.

  • By the road, Baywater was six miles away, but there was a short cut across hills and fields and woods which was scantly three.

    The Golden Road Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • “Methinks it were scantly so merry for you, Mistress Doll,” answered Agnes rather keenly.

    For the Master's Sake Emily Sarah Holt
British Dictionary definitions for scantly


scarcely sufficient; limited: he paid her scant attention
(prenominal) slightly short of the amount indicated; bare: a scant ten inches
(postpositive) foll by of. having a short supply (of)
verb (transitive)
to limit in size or quantity
to provide with a limited or inadequate supply of
to treat in a slighting or inadequate manner
scarcely; barely
Derived Forms
scantly, adverb
scantness, 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for scantly

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."



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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for scant

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for scantly

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for scantly