scarce

adjective
\ ˈskers How to pronounce scarce (audio) \
scarcer; scarcest

Definition of scarce

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

scarce

adverb

Definition of scarce (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from scarce

Adjective

scarceness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for scarce

Adjective

infrequent, uncommon, scarce, rare, sporadic mean not common or abundant. infrequent implies occurrence at wide intervals in space or time. infrequent family visits uncommon suggests a frequency below normal expectation. smallpox is now uncommon in many countries scarce implies falling short of a standard or required abundance. jobs were scarce during the Depression rare suggests extreme scarcity or infrequency and often implies consequent high value. rare first editions sporadic implies occurrence in scattered instances or isolated outbursts. sporadic cases of influenza

Examples of scarce in a Sentence

Adjective Food was getting scarce during the drought. food was a bit scarce last winter Adverb I could scarce believe what I was hearing.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective In response, some California farmers are fallowing fields typically used for growing annual crops such as tomatoes and melons to divert scarce water supplies to permanent crops in orchards and vineyards, which require longer-term investments. Jacob Bunge, WSJ, 25 June 2021 Brazil’s vaccination campaign, slow to get off the ground because of scarce vaccine supplies, is still only targeting the elderly and patients with comorbidities. Sofia Moutinho, Science | AAAS, 1 June 2021 Governors bid against governors—and against the federal government—for scarce supplies. Dan Xin Huang, The New Republic, 24 May 2021 As hospitals face shortages of intensive-care beds, relatives of the sick are broadcasting desperate pleas on social media for oxygen, medicine and other scarce supplies. BostonGlobe.com, 30 Apr. 2021 The demand is so high that the price of some scarce supplies has gone up, according to Tiffany Harmon, a procurement administrator at PRA Health Sciences’ bioanalytics lab in Kansas. Kate Sheridan, STAT, 28 Apr. 2021 Covax, the global initiative to provide shots to countries lacking the clout to negotiate for scarce supplies on their own, has only managed to deliver more than 25,000 doses per day to low-income countries twice in the past week. Melody Petersen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 12 Apr. 2021 But the celebration comes amid growing concerns about the failure of wealthy countries to share scarce vaccine supplies with developing nations. Arkansas Online, 20 Mar. 2021 But the celebration comes amid growing concerns about the failure of wealthy countries to share scarce vaccine supplies with developing nations. Time, 20 Mar. 2021

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

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for scarce

Adjective

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

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Time Traveler for scarce

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for scarce

Last Updated

16 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scarce.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scarce. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for scarce

scarce

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of scarce

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: very small in amount or number : not plentiful

scarce

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of scarce (Entry 2 of 2)

literary : almost not at all : scarcely or hardly

scarce

adjective
\ ˈskers How to pronounce scarce (audio) \
scarcer; scarcest

Kids Definition of scarce

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not plentiful Food was scarce during the war.

scarce

adverb

Kids Definition of scarce (Entry 2 of 2)

: hardly, scarcely … I could scarce conceal a shudder when he laid his hand upon my arm.— Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island

More from Merriam-Webster on scarce

Nglish: Translation of scarce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scarce for Arabic Speakers

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