Water is scarce in this desert.
- An example of scarce is money when you are poor.
- An example of scarce are dishes from a china pattern that was discontinued years ago.
The definition of scarce is a situation where there is too little of something or where something exists only in very small numbers.
- not common; rarely seen
- not plentiful; not sufficient to meet the demand; hard to get
Origin of scarceMiddle English scars from Norman French escars (for Old French eschars) from Vulgar Latin an unverified form escarpsus, for Classical Latin excerptus, past participle of excerpere, to pick out, select (see excerpt); hence, that which is picked out and therefore scarce
make oneself scarce
Informal to go or stay away
- Insufficient to meet a demand or requirement; short in supply: Fresh vegetables were scarce during the drought.
- Hard to find; absent or rare: Steel pennies are scarce now except in coin shops.
Barely or hardly; scarcely.
Origin of scarceMiddle English scars from Old French scars from Vulgar Latin excarpsus narrow, cramped from past participle of excarpere to pluck out alteration of Latin excerpere to pick out ; see excerpt .
(comparative scarcer, superlative scarcest)
- (now literary, archaic) Scarcely, only just.