Scarce (?), a. [Compar. Scarcer (?); superl. Scarcest.] [OE. scars, OF. escars, eschars, LL. scarpsus, for L. excerptus, p. p. of excerpere to pick out, and hence to contract, to shorten; ex (see Ex-) + carpere. See Carpet, and cf. Excerp.]

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."

Milton.

3.

Sparing; frugal; parsimonious; stingy.

[Obs.] "Too scarce ne too sparing."

Chaucer.

To make one's self scarce, to decamp; to depart. [Slang]

Syn. -- Rare; infrequent; deficient. See Rare.

 

© Webster 1913.


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. Irwing.

2.

Frugally; penuriously.

[Obs.]

haucer.

 

© Webster 1913.

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