Dictionary

1scarce

adjective \ˈskers\

: very small in amount or number : not plentiful

scarc·erscarc·est

Full Definition of SCARCE

1
:  deficient in quantity or number compared with the demand :  not plentiful or abundant
2
:  intentionally absent <made himself scarce at inspection time>
scarce·ness noun

Examples of SCARCE

  1. Food was getting scarce during the drought.
  2. <food was a bit scarce last winter>

Origin of SCARCE

Middle English scars, from Anglo-French eschars, escars narrow, stingy, deficient, from Vulgar Latin *excarpsus, literally, plucked out, past participle of Latin excerpere to pluck out — more at excerpt
First Known Use: 14th century

2scarce

adverb

: almost not at all : scarcely or hardly

Full Definition of SCARCE

:  scarcely, hardly <scarce was independence half a century old, when a…split occurred — John McPhee>

Examples of SCARCE

  1. I could scarce believe what I was hearing.

First Known Use of SCARCE

15th century

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