Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[skan-tee] /ˈskæn ti/
adjective, scantier, scantiest.
scant in amount, quantity, etc.; barely sufficient.
meager; not adequate.
lacking amplitude in extent or compass.
noun, plural scanties.
scanties, very brief underpants, especially for women.
Origin of scanty
1650-60; scant + -y1; (def 4) blend of scanty and panties
Related forms
scantily, adverb
scantiness, noun
unscanty, adjective
1, 2. Scanty, meager, sparse refer to insufficiency or deficiency in quantity, number, etc. Scanty denotes smallness or insufficiency of quantity, number, supply, etc.: a scanty supply of food. Meager indicates that something is poor, stinted, or inadequate: meager fare; a meager income. Sparse applies particularly to that which grows thinly or is thinly strewn or sown, often over a wide area: sparse vegetation; a sparse population.
1, 2. plentiful, ample. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for scanty
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Nothing had been added to her scanty wardrobe in that time but a black frock.

    Rico and Wiseli Johanna Spyri
  • By degrees, however, his eyes became accustomed to the scanty light.

    Biographical Stories Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • As Baucis had said, there was but a scanty supper for two hungry travellers.

    The Miraculous Pitcher Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • These computations were correct as far as they went, but they were scanty.

    Flying Machines W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell
  • The other members of the Poorhouse had scanty faith in that red flannel.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • His scanty roll of bills was in his right hand, and there concealed.

    The Fortune Hunter Louis Joseph Vance
  • To these scanty means of improvement, she added another of her own contriving.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • On the surface of the roads where the ground is thin, the corn is scanty.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
British Dictionary definitions for scanty


adjective scantier, scantiest
limited; barely enough; meagre
insufficient; inadequate
lacking fullness; small
Derived Forms
scantily, adverb
scantiness, noun
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 scanty

1650s, "meager, barely sufficient for use;" 1701, "too small, limited in scope," from scant + -y (2). Related: Scantiness (1560s). Scanties (n.) "underwear" (especially for women) attested from 1928.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for scanty

Word Value for scanty

Scrabble Words With Friends