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See more synonyms for scanty on Thesaurus.com
adjective, scant·i·er, scant·i·est.
  1. scant in amount, quantity, etc.; barely sufficient.
  2. meager; not adequate.
  3. lacking amplitude in extent or compass.
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noun, plural scant·ies.
  1. scanties, very brief underpants, especially for women.
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Origin of scanty

1650–60; scant + -y1; (def 4) blend of scanty and panties
Related formsscant·i·ly, adverbscant·i·ness, nounun·scant·y, adjective


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
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.


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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for scantiness

Historical Examples

  • Once or twice he had shaken his head at the scantiness of all their provisions for life.

    Dr. Sevier

    George W. Cable

  • "In the scantiness of your raiment, Citoyenne," he answered acidly.

  • Knowing the scantiness of the Oriental breakfast, we are not surprised.

  • Their scantiness of raiment, it is pleaded in their behalf, is due in no sense to immodesty.

    East of Suez

    Frederic Courtland Penfield

  • But his courage and activity made up for the scantiness of his resources.

British Dictionary definitions for scantiness


adjective scantier or scantiest
  1. limited; barely enough; meagre
  2. insufficient; inadequate
  3. lacking fullness; small
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Derived Formsscantily, adverbscantiness, 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

Word Origin and History for scantiness



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper