Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective scanty differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of scanty are meager, scant, skimpy, spare, and sparse. While all these words mean "falling short of what is normal, necessary, or desirable," scanty stresses insufficiency in amount, quantity, or extent.

supplies too scanty to last the winter

When is it sensible to use meager instead of scanty?

The synonyms meager and scanty are sometimes interchangeable, but meager implies the absence of elements, qualities, or numbers necessary to a thing's richness, substance, or potency.

a meager portion of meat

Where would scant be a reasonable alternative to scanty?

In some situations, the words scant and scanty are roughly equivalent. However, scant suggests a falling short of what is desired or desirable rather than of what is essential.

in January the daylight hours are scant

When could skimpy be used to replace scanty?

The words skimpy and scanty can be used in similar contexts, but skimpy usually suggests niggardliness or penury as the cause of the deficiency.

tacky housing developments on skimpy lots

When can spare be used instead of scanty?

The words spare and scanty are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, spare may suggest a slight falling short of adequacy or merely an absence of superfluity.

a spare, concise style of writing

When would sparse be a good substitute for scanty?

Although the words sparse and scanty have much in common, sparse implies a thin scattering of units.

a sparse population

Thesaurus Entries Near scanty

Cite this Entry

“Scanty.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

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