adjective, scarc·er, scarc·est.
- scarborough lily,
- scarce as hen's teeth,
- scarcely ever,
- to depart, especially suddenly.
- to stay away; avoid.
Origin of scarce
Examples from the Web for scarce
Now, visitors are scarce and the jungle is taking over, leaving some locals nostalgic.Six Must-Read Stories About the Sony Hacks, Congo’s Forgotten Colonial Getaway and Another Woman’s Story of U-VA|The Daily Beast|December 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
We fight over their ownership and control, as if reality were a resource as scarce as the water and oil in Mad Max.
After two decades of war, even the most basic infrastructure is scarce.A Belgian Prince, Gorillas, Guerrillas & the Future of the Congo|Nina Strochlic|November 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
It is not a scarce commodity to be meted out begrudgingly or in short portions.The Heroic Lesbian Couple of Oklahoma Who Fought for Equal Marriage—and Won|Randy R. Potts|October 7, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But while lawmakers vocally opposed to the deal were scarce, it faced some criticism in the think tank world.It’s a Miracle! Congress Compromises on VA Reform Bill|Tim Mak|July 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
He affirms, That scarce a poet from Homer down to Dryden ever felt his fire diminished merely by his advance in years.
I cannot say he is any better this morning—he is in a very dangerous state—I have scarce any hopes of him.
Lost in this mood, the voice of Emmet came to his ears with a shock, a mere succession of sounds with scarce a meaning.The Mayor of Warwick|Herbert M. Hopkins
We had scarce been happy a fortnight, when a letter came from Colonel Raynal.White Lies|Charles Reade
She had scarce reached her favorite lookout spot, a shaded cliff, when she saw Goodnow approaching.The Girl From Tim's Place|Charles Clark Munn
Word Origin for scarce
c.1300, "restricted in quantity," from Old North French scars "scanty, scarce" (Old French eschars, Modern French échars) from Vulgar Latin *scarsus, from *escarpsus, from *excarpere "pluck out," from classical Latin excerpere "pluck out" (see excerpt). As an adverb early 14c. from the adjective. Phrase to make oneself scarce "go away" first attested 1771, noted as a current "cant phrase." Related: Scarcely.
In addition to the idiom beginning with scarce
- scarce as hen's teeth
- scarcely ever
- make oneself scarce