scar·​ci·​ty ˈsker-sə-tē How to pronounce scarcity (audio)
plural scarcities
: the quality or state of being scarce
especially : want of provisions for the support of life

Examples of scarcity in a Sentence

Scarcity of food forced the herds to move. the scarcity of good restaurants around here is surprising
Recent Examples on the Web This most recent crop of British imports may be explained by the newfound scarcity in the American news business. Michael M. Grynbaum, New York Times, 8 June 2024 Chelsea Ridley, director of community engagement at Open Books and co-founder of the Lawndale Pop-Up Spot, chalks up the negativity to resource scarcity. Darcel Rockett, Chicago Tribune, 31 May 2024 Watch on As Payraudeau explains, the Valley of the Kings was plundered numerous times during ancient Egypt’s 19th Dynasty, an era of economic and social crises that led to scarcity, forcing even royals to reuse funerary objects created for their predecessors. Sonja Anderson, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 May 2024 Perhaps the scarcity of classic Rolex steel professional models on the vintage market has inspired Rolex’s current practice of shorting demand for the modern versions. Allen Farmelo, Robb Report, 11 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for scarcity 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'scarcity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of scarcity was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near scarcity

Cite this Entry

“Scarcity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


scar·​ci·​ty ˈsker-sət-ē How to pronounce scarcity (audio)
plural scarcities
: the quality or state of being scarce : a very small supply

More from Merriam-Webster on scarcity

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