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See more synonyms for scant on Thesaurus.com
adjective, scant·er, scant·est.
  1. barely sufficient in amount or quantity; not abundant; almost inadequate: to do scant justice.
  2. limited; meager; not large: a scant amount.
  3. barely amounting to as much as indicated: a scant two hours; a scant cupful.
  4. having an inadequate or limited supply (usually followed by of): scant of breath.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make scant; diminish.
  2. to stint the supply of; withhold.
  3. to treat slightly or inadequately.
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  1. Scot. and North England Dialect. scarcely; barely; hardly.
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Origin of scant

1325–75; Middle English (adj.) < Old Norse skamt, neuter of skammr short
Related formsscant·ly, adverbscant·ness, noun

Synonyms for scant

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for scantest

paltry, slight, scanty, sparse, insufficient, mere, skimpy, short, spare, skimp, bare, thin, scrimp, wanting, close, deficient, exiguous, failing, limited, little

Examples from the Web for scantest

Contemporary Examples of scantest

Historical Examples of scantest

  • He had given merely the scantest news of his whereabouts and his well-being.

    Cape of Storms

    Percival Pollard

  • The portrait accompanying the volume gave us, alas, but the scantest satisfaction.

  • There is a kind of legend about the haughty, unbending chief, who treated all his followers with the scantest courtesy.


    Stephen Lucius Gwynn

  • The latter had perceived his daughter as she passed at a short distance, with scantest form of recognition.


    Ernest G. Henham

  • Clarisse squatted down on the big floor cushion, her skirt just touching her knees by the scantest rim.

    Jane Allen: Center

    Edith Bancroft

British Dictionary definitions for scantest


  1. scarcely sufficient; limitedhe paid her scant attention
  2. (prenominal) slightly short of the amount indicated; barea scant ten inches
  3. (postpositive foll by of) having a short supply (of)
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verb (tr)
  1. to limit in size or quantity
  2. to provide with a limited or inadequate supply of
  3. to treat in a slighting or inadequate manner
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  1. scarcely; barely
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Derived Formsscantly, adverbscantness, noun

Word Origin for scant

C14: from Old Norse skamt, from skammr /short; related to Old High German scam
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

Word Origin and History for scantest



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper