SYNONYMS | WORD ORIGIN | IDIOMS 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. Idioms make oneself scarce, . Informal to depart, especially suddenly. to stay away; avoid. Origin of scarce 1250–1300; Middle English scars
Old North French
Vulgar Latin *excarpsus
plucked out, for
excerpt Related forms scarce·ness, noun un·scarce, adjective un·scarce·ly, adverb un·scarce·ness, noun
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for make oneself scarce quit
jump British Dictionary definitions for make oneself scarce adjective rarely encountered insufficient to meet the demand make oneself scarce informal to go away, esp suddenly adverb archaic, or literary scarcely Derived Forms 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
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Word Origin and History for make oneself scarce adj.
c.1300, "restricted in quantity," from Old North French
scars "scanty, scarce" (Old French eschars, Modern French échars) from Vulgar Latin *scarsus, from *escarpsus, from *excarpere "pluck out," from classical Latin excerpere "pluck out" (see excerpt). As an adverb early 14c. from the adjective. Phrase to make oneself scarce "go away" first attested 1771, noted as a current "cant phrase." Related: Scarcely.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with 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]
In addition to the idiom beginning with
scarce scarce as hen's teeth scarcely ever
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
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