[ skant ]
See synonyms for: scantscantedscanterscantest on

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.

  1. barely amounting to as much as indicated: a scant two hours; a scant cupful.

  2. having an inadequate or limited supply (usually followed by of): scant of breath.

verb (used with object)
  1. to make scant; diminish.

  2. to stint the supply of; withhold.

  1. to treat slightly or inadequately.

  1. Scot. and North England Dialect. scarcely; barely; hardly.

Origin of scant

1325–75; Middle English (adj.) <Old Norse skamt, neuter of skammr short

Other words for scant

Other words from scant

  • scantly, adverb
  • scantness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use scant in a sentence

  • Mr. Mitchett was none the less scantly diverted from his estimate of the occasion Mrs. Brookenham had just named to him.

    The Awkward Age | Henry James
  • He remembered the effect this adviser had produced on Julia—an effect that scantly ministered to the idea of another meeting.

    The Tragic Muse | Henry James
  • The children were barefoot, bare headed and scantly dressed, and it seemed awfully dirty about the doors of the shanties.

    Death Valley in '49 | William Lewis Manly
  • He gnawed at the scantly-fleshed ribs of the first rabbit, savoring the raw meaty smell and flavor.

    Stalemate | Basil Eugene Wells
  • The contents of it, as of all Fielding's work in this kind, include certain things for which the moderns are scantly grateful.

    Joseph Andrews Vol. 1 | Henry Fielding

British Dictionary definitions for scant


/ (skænt) /

  1. scarcely sufficient; limited: he paid her scant attention

  2. (prenominal) slightly short of the amount indicated; bare: a scant ten inches

  1. (postpositive foll by of) having a short supply (of)

  1. to limit in size or quantity

  2. to provide with a limited or inadequate supply of

  1. to treat in a slighting or inadequate manner

  1. scarcely; barely

Origin of scant

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

Derived forms of scant

  • scantly, adverb
  • scantness, 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