scarce

[ 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.

adverb

QUIZZES

Fend Off Sciolism With This Word Of The Day Quiz
Are you the Cinderella of this week’s quiz? Test your memory on the words and definitions from March 23–29.
Question 1 of 7
schlep

Idioms for scarce

    make oneself scarce, Informal.
    1. to depart, especially suddenly.
    2. to stay away; avoid.

Origin of scarce

1250–1300; Middle English scars < Old North French (e)scars < Vulgar Latin *excarpsus plucked out, for Latin excerptus; see excerpt

OTHER WORDS FROM scarce

scarce·ness, nounun·scarce, adjectiveun·scarce·ly, adverbun·scarce·ness, noun

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH scarce

extinct rare scarce
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for make oneself scarce

scarce
/ (skɛəs) /

adjective

rarely encountered
insufficient to meet the demand
make oneself scarce informal to go away, esp suddenly

adverb

archaic, or literary scarcely

Derived forms of scarce

scarceness, 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)

scarce

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.