\ 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 But scant evidence for some was proof of guilt for others, requiring swift retribution. Washington Post, "The Rope: A True Story of Murder, Heroism, and the Dawn of the NAACP," 19 Mar. 2021 Thus, to date there’s scant evidence that vaccinations are having any positive effect on business travel demand. Dan Reed, Forbes, "A Nice Little Spring Break Bump Will Help U.S. Airlines, But It’s Not A Sign Of A Real Recovery," 17 Mar. 2021 Tellingly, insurance companies have provided scant evidence that their utilization reviews and demands for prior authorization have actually helped root out fraud or waste. Steve Cohen, STAT, "Instead of prior authorization, insurers should go back to the old ‘pay-and-chase’ model," 14 Mar. 2021 The game's broadcast, and the internet in general, have been scant on details, but Avery stands at least 6-foot-6 and was probably the closest physical matchup (though a little thicker) to Bates' lengthy 6-9 frame. Tyler J. Davis, Detroit Free Press, "Emoni Bates, Ypsi Prep outlast scrappy DJ Avery, Dohn Prep: 3 observations from intense game," 8 Mar. 2021 But nearly two months after his death, details about what happened to the officer are scant. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, "'We all want to know': FBI, Capitol police remain mum on what killed Officer Brian Sicknick," 2 Mar. 2021 Comprehensive, national eviction risk data is scant. Catherine Thorbecke, ABC News, "Texas federal judge rules CDC's pandemic eviction moratorium unconstitutional," 26 Feb. 2021 Data is scant, but at least two U.S. cities logged an increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans in 2020. Marian Liu, Washington Post, "Fear of anti-Asian attacks leaves communities feeling alone in fight," 25 Feb. 2021 Filling in the historical gaps was challenging; records of their early years, especially, are scant. Barbara Spindel, The Christian Science Monitor, "MLK, Malcolm X, and James Baldwin were shaped by their mothers," 24 Feb. 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

4 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 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.

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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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