scarce

[ skairs ]
/ skɛərs /

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

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

OTHER WORDS FROM scarce

scarce·ness, nounun·scarce, adjectiveun·scarce·ly, adverbun·scarce·ness, noun

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH scarce

extinct rare scarce
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scarce

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

Derived forms of scarce

scarceness, noun

Word Origin for scarce

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

In addition to the idiom beginning with scarce

  • scarce as hen's teeth
  • scarcely ever

also see:

  • make oneself scarce
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.