- 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.
- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for scantness
Wasn't there a good deal of talk about the scantness of some of the ladies' dresses?Poor Relations
This was the quelling they brought, a scantness of drink that seized him.
Her satin dress was a mere sheath, so conspicuous by its severity and scantness that every one in the dining-room stared.Song of the Lark
Then immediately, through the scantness of the apartment, he heard the outer bell resound.The Pace That Kills
- scarcely sufficient; limitedhe paid her scant attention
- (prenominal) slightly short of the amount indicated; barea scant ten inches
- (postpositive foll by of) having a short supply (of)
- 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
Word Origin and History for scantness
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.