Dictionary.com

scarce

[ skairs ]
/ skɛərs /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: scarce / scarceness on Thesaurus.com

adjective, scarc·er, scarc·est.

insufficient to satisfy the need or demand; not abundant: Meat and butter were scarce during the war.
seldom met with; rare: a scarce book.

adverb

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON “ITS” VS. “IT’S”!

Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Idioms for scarce

    make oneself scarce, Informal.
    1. to depart, especially suddenly.
    2. to stay away; avoid.

Origin of scarce

1250–1300; Middle English scars<Old North French (e)scars<Vulgar Latin *excarpsus plucked out, for Latin excerptus;see excerpt
scarceness, nounun·scarce, adjectiveun·scarce·ly, adverbun·scarce·ness, noun
extinct, rare, scarce
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for scarce

scarce
/ (skɛəs) /

adjective

rarely encountered
insufficient to meet the demand
make oneself scarce informal to go away, esp suddenly

adverb

archaic, or literary scarcely
scarceness, noun
C13: from Old Norman French scars, from Vulgar Latin excarpsus (unattested) plucked out, from Latin excerpere to select; see excerpt
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

Idioms and Phrases with scarce

scarce

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
Get Online Help For Kids!