\ ˈskan-tē How to pronounce scanty (audio) \
scantier; scantiest

Definition of scanty

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

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Other Words from scanty

scantily \ ˈskan-​tə-​lē How to pronounce scantily (audio) \ adverb
scantiness \ ˈskan-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce scantiness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of scanty in a Sentence

The cheerleaders wore scanty outfits. the camera's scanty instructions left me somewhat confused
Recent Examples on the Web In the sunshine outside a large convention center in the southern Spanish city of Estepona, some very fit-looking people in scanty clothing applied fake tans and rehearsed statuesque poses. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: Spanish bodybuilders compete for national crown," 16 Nov. 2019 Falling production This year has been the first in nearly a century when India’s overall monsoon rainfall has exceeded its average levels despite a scanty start to the season in June. Kuwar Singh, Quartz India, "One of India’s largest coal mines is flooded, spelling more bad news for domestic output," 3 Oct. 2019 The Associated Press has not verified who caused the woman’s injury, and photographic evidence has been scanty. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: HK protesters show solidarity with injured woman," 13 Aug. 2019 The city's reservoirs and lakes are parched and its wells have run dry after two years of scanty rains here. Anchorage Daily News, "As a major Indian city runs out of water, 9 million people pray for rain," 2 July 2019 The city’s reservoirs and lakes are parched and its wells have run dry after two years of scanty rains here. Joanna Slater, Washington Post, "As a major Indian city runs out of water, 9 million people pray for rain," 28 June 2019 Lower rates and monetary stimulus measures mean cheaper borrowing, but scantier returns for savers. Washington Post, "European Central Bank hints at stimulus — drawing Trump ire," 18 June 2019 Damage assessments were scanty during the night because of darkness and poor communications, but federal officials said power had been knocked out in some spots and there were early reports of flimsy structures with tin roofs sustaining damage. Marco Ugarte, The Seattle Times, "Hurricane Willa moves inland after hitting Mexico coast," 23 Oct. 2018 For now, details on how the mechanism would work are scanty. Laurence Norman, WSJ, "Europe’s Payment Channel to Salvage Iran Deal Faces Limits," 25 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scanty.' 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 scanty

1600, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for scanty

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

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Time Traveler for scanty

Time Traveler

The first known use of scanty was in 1600

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Statistics for scanty

Cite this Entry

“Scanty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for scanty


How to pronounce scanty (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of scanty

: very small in size or amount


\ ˈskan-tē How to pronounce scanty (audio) \
scantier; scantiest

Kids Definition of scanty

: barely enough : lacking in size or quantity a scanty harvest

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More from Merriam-Webster on scanty

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scanty

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scanty

Spanish Central: Translation of scanty

Nglish: Translation of scanty for Spanish Speakers

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