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scant

[skant]
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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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adverb
  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

See more synonyms for scant on Thesaurus.com
2. scanty, small, restricted. 4. short, lacking, wanting, deficient. 5. lessen, reduce, decrease, curtail. 6. limit, restrict, skimp, scrimp. 7. slight, neglect.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for scantness

Historical Examples

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

    Poor Relations

    Compton Mackenzie

  • 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

  • Then immediately, through the scantness of the apartment, he heard the outer bell resound.


British Dictionary definitions for scantness

scant

adjective
  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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adverb
  1. scarcely; barely
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Derived Formsscantly, adverbscantness, noun

Word Origin

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 scantness

n.

late 14c., from scant (adj.) + -ness. Chaucer uses scantity.

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scant

adj.

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