[ skant ]
/ skænt /

adjective, scant·er, scant·est.

verb (used with object)


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

Origin of scant

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

Related forms

scant·ly, adverbscant·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scantness

  • Wasn't there a good deal of talk about the scantness of some of the ladies' dresses?

    Poor Relations|Compton Mackenzie
  • Then immediately, through the scantness of the apartment, he heard the outer bell resound.

    The Pace That Kills|Edgar Saltus
  • This was the quelling they brought, a scantness of drink that seized him.

  • Her satin dress was a mere sheath, so conspicuous by its severity and scantness that every one in the dining-room stared.

    Song of the Lark|Willa Cather

British Dictionary definitions for scantness


/ (skænt) /


scarcely sufficient; limitedhe paid her scant attention
(prenominal) slightly short of the amount indicated; barea scant ten inches
(postpositive foll by of) having a short supply (of)

verb (tr)


scarcely; barely

Derived Forms

scantly, 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