\ ˈskant How to pronounce scant (audio) \

Definition of scant

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 dialect
a : excessively frugal
b : not prodigal : chary
2a : barely or scarcely sufficient especially : not quite coming up to a stated measure a scant teaspoon
b : lacking in amplitude or quantity scant growth
3 : having a small or insufficient supply he's fat, and scant of breath— William Shakespeare



Definition of scant (Entry 2 of 3)



scanted; scanting; scants

Definition of scant (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to provide an incomplete supply of
2 : to make small, narrow, or meager
3 : to give scant attention to : slight
4 : to provide with a meager or inadequate portion or supply : stint

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Other Words from scant


scantly adverb
scantness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for scant


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

Examples of scant in a Sentence

Adjective Food was in scant supply. She paid scant attention to the facts. Police found scant evidence of fraud. Verb don't scant the peanut butter on those sandwiches!
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective With each passing year, the needle moves a scant and 2021 was no exception. Dino-ray Ramos, Forbes, "Oscars Diversity: Historic Wins Leap Over Low Bar Set By Hollywood," 26 Apr. 2021 The time makes Jacoby the 14th fastest U.S. woman in history in the event and ranks third in the national 17-18 age-group rankings, putting her a scant .63 off the national age-group record of 1:05.75 set in 2009. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, "With a new PR that places her among the world leaders, Seward swimmer Lydia Jacoby puts herself in the Olympic conversation," 14 Apr. 2021 Hastings' death, meanwhile, lowers the Democrats' majority to a scant 218-211 in the House. CBS News, "Alcee Hastings, longtime Florida congressman, dies at 84," 6 Apr. 2021 Both December and January were milder than average and snowfall was scant, just 5.4 inches, which is 10 inches below average. Washington Post, "We can safely say winter is over in Washington," 22 Mar. 2021 The modified suit pants took a scant 30 to 45 days to turn around, compared with the company’s typical product timeline of four to six months. New York Times, "Ministry of Supply Sold Office Apparel. It Has Had to Rethink Things.," 4 Mar. 2021 Until the 1990s, insurers spent a whopping $0.95 of every $1 on medical care, taking a scant 5% from enrollee premiums to cover their overheads, with just enough left over for a small profit. Robert Pearl, Forbes, "How Health Insurance Became America’s Biggest Hustle," 1 Mar. 2021 The Afghan security forces that will be left to defend the nation, which the U.S. has been funding and training for years, are beleaguered by limited capabilities and scant resources. Time, "President Joe Biden Is Withdrawing U.S. Forces from Afghanistan. What Happens Now?," 14 Apr. 2021 Because details were so scant, White House officials didn't brief the President, according to two people familiar with the situation, write Kevin Liptak, Kaitlan Collins and Kristen Holmes. Angela Dewan, CNN, "J&J vaccine pause catches White House off guard," 14 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In most cases, the Electoral College vote is a mere formality that carries no drama and garners scant public attention. Gilbert Garcia,, "Garcia: San Antonian wisely voted against resolution from Texas electors," 18 Dec. 2020 Bennett’s story began in southern Georgia’s rural Brantley County, home to scant football tradition when the Bennetts arrived from the Atlanta suburbs in 2004. Laine Higgins And Rachel Bachman, WSJ, "Georgia’s Quarterback Is a 5-Foot-11 ‘Mailman’," 16 Oct. 2020 Yet geriatrics is badly scanted in standard medical training. Joseph Epstein, WSJ, "‘Elderhood’ Review: The Way We Age Now," 17 Jan. 2020 Issues that involve race — such as voting-rights cases and challenges to affirmative action in higher education — receive extensive treatment, while other, no less interesting and important questions are scanted or ignored. Carson Holloway, National Review, "John Roberts: A Political Judge?," 20 June 2019 Foxhall’s history of migraine, unlike the self-help books, accommodates human complexity without scanting medicine’s contributions to a condition that affects roughly 1 in 7 people on our planet. Sibbie O'sullivan, Washington Post, "Migraines have plagued me for years. A new book puts my pain in perspective.," 10 June 2019 Yet, in his close attention to what the men inside the White House thought and did, Zeitz scants the larger reasons for their success and eventual downfall. Michael Kazin, The New Republic, "Realistic Ambitions," 27 Feb. 2018 Hospitals and heroic interventions got the large investments; incrementalists were scanted. Atul Gawande, The New Yorker, "The Heroism of Incremental Care," 23 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of scant


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for scant


Middle English, from Old Norse skamt, neuter of skammr short

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Time Traveler for scant

Time Traveler

The first known use of scant was in the 14th century

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Statistics for scant

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for scant



English Language Learners Definition of scant

: very small in size or amount


\ ˈskant How to pronounce scant (audio) \

Kids Definition of scant

1 : barely enough Ramona paid scant attention to this little speech …— Beverly Cleary, Ramona Quimby
2 : not quite to a full amount, degree, or extent He poured a scant cup of milk.

More from Merriam-Webster on scant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scant

Nglish: Translation of scant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scant for Arabic Speakers

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