scarce /ˈskɛrs, ˈskærs/
Scarce a. [Compar. Scarcer superl. Scarcest.]
1. Not plentiful or abundant; in small quantity in proportion to the demand; not easily to be procured; rare; uncommon.
You tell him silver is scarcer now in England, and therefore risen one fifth in value. --Locke.
The scarcest of all is a Pescennius Niger on a medallion well preserved. --Addison.
2. Scantily supplied (with); deficient (in); -- with of. [Obs.] “A region scarce of prey.”
3. Sparing; frugal; parsimonious; stingy. [Obs.] “Too scarce ne too sparing.”
To make one's self scarce, to decamp; to depart. [Slang]
Syn: -- Rare; infrequent; deficient. See Rare.
Scarce, Scarce·ly, adv.
1. With difficulty; hardly; scantly; barely; but just.
With a scarce well-lighted flame. --Milton.
The eldest scarcely five year was of age. --Chaucer.
Slowly she sails, and scarcely stems the tides. --Dryden.
He had scarcely finished, when the laborer arrived who had been sent for my ransom. --W. Irving.
2. Frugally; penuriously. [Obs.]
adj 1: not enough; hard to find; "meat was scarce during the war"
2: deficient in quantity or number compared with the demand;
"fresh vegetables were scarce during the drought" [ant: abundant]
adv : by a small margin; "they could barely hear the speaker"; "we
hardly knew them"; "just missed being hit"; "had
scarcely rung the bell when the door flew open"; "would
have scarce arrived before she would have found some
excuse to leave"- W.B.Yeats [syn: barely, hardly, just,