[ skairs ]
/ skɛərs /
adjective, scarc·er, scarc·est.
insufficient to satisfy the need or demand; not abundant: Meat and butter were scarce during the war.
seldom met with; rare: a scarce book.
- to depart, especially suddenly.
- to stay away; avoid.
make oneself scarce, Informal.
Origin of scarce
1250–1300; Middle English scars < Old North French (e)scars < Vulgar Latin *excarpsus plucked out, for Latin excerptus; see excerpt
SYNONYMS FOR scarce
Related formsscarce·ness, nounun·scarce, adjectiveun·scarce·ly, adverbun·scarce·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for make oneself scarce
/ (skɛəs) /
insufficient to meet the demand
make oneself scarce informal to go away, esp suddenly
archaic, or literary scarcely
Derived Formsscarceness, noun
Word Origin for scarce
C13: from Old Norman French scars, from Vulgar Latin excarpsus (unattested) plucked out, from Latin excerpere to select; see excerpt
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
Idioms and Phrases with make oneself scarce (1 of 2)
make oneself scarce
Depart quickly, go away, as in The children saw Mrs. Frost coming and made themselves scarce. This idiom applies scarce in the sense of “seldom seen” to removing one's presence. [c. 1800]
Idioms and Phrases with make oneself scarce (2 of 2)
In addition to the idiom beginning with scarce
- scarce as hen's teeth
- scarcely ever
- make oneself scarce
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.