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Definition of "scarce" []

  • Insufficient to meet a demand or requirement; short in supply: Fresh vegetables were scarce during the drought. (adjective)
  • Hard to find; absent or rare: Steel pennies are scarce now except in coin shops. (adjective)
  • Barely or hardly; scarcely. (adverb)
  • Make (oneself) scarce Informal To stay away; be absent or elusive. (idiom)
  • Make (oneself) scarce Informal To depart, especially quickly or furtively; abscond. (idiom)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "scarce" in a sentence
  • "Thus, _If cats are scarce, mice are plentiful_, contains two verbal clauses; but _if cats are scarce_ is conditional, not indicative; and _mice are plentiful_ is subject to the condition that _cats are scarce_."
  • "A quarter century had passed since Douglas had hired the Court's first female clerk; that was during World War II, when male law students were in scarce supply."
  • "Unfortunately, deals are in scarce supply from wineries directly."