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slim pickings

A small amount left after others have taken a share. For example, After each of the children took what they wanted of Mother's things, it was slim pickings for the rest of the family. This expression alludes to animals devouring a carcass. [Early 1600s]

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

Related Words

lack, inadequacy, paucity, deficiency, absence, shortage, several, some, infrequency, scantiness, default, privation, defect, famine, scantness, poverty, want, need, miss, meagerness