Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

scanty

play
adjective \ˈskan-tē\

Simple Definition of scanty

  • : very small in size or amount

Full Definition of scanty

scant·i·erscant·i·est

  1. :  limited or less than sufficient in degree, quantity, or extent

scant·i·ly play \ˈskan-tə-lē\ adverb
scant·i·ness play \ˈskan-tē-nəs\ noun

Examples of scanty

  1. The cheerleaders wore scanty outfits.

  2. <the camera's scanty instructions left me somewhat confused>



Origin of scanty

English dialect scant scanty supply, from Middle English, from Old Norse skamt, from neuter of skammr short


First Known Use: 1600

Synonym Discussion of scanty

meager, scanty, scant, skimpy, spare, sparse mean falling short of what is normal, necessary, or desirable. meager implies the absence of elements, qualities, or numbers necessary to a thing's richness, substance, or potency <a meager portion of meat>. scanty stresses insufficiency in amount, quantity, or extent <supplies too scanty to last the winter>. scant suggests a falling short of what is desired or desirable rather than of what is essential <in January the daylight hours are scant>. skimpy usually suggests niggardliness or penury as the cause of the deficiency <tacky housing developments on skimpy lots>. spare may suggest a slight falling short of adequacy or merely an absence of superfluity <a spare, concise style of writing>. sparse implies a thin scattering of units <a sparse population>.

Rhymes with scanty



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up scanty? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

duvet spindrift kittly-benders pince-nez
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ