Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Uncommon, rare; difficult to find; insufficient to meet a demand.
  • adv. Scarcely, only just.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not plentiful or abundant; in small quantity in proportion to the demand; not easily to be procured; rare; uncommon.
  • adj. Scantily supplied (with); deficient (in); -- with of.
  • adj. Sparing; frugal; parsimonious; stingy.
  • adv. With difficulty; hardly; scantly; barely; but just.
  • adv. Frugally; penuriously.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Sparing; parsimonious; niggard; niggardly; stingy.
  • Scantily supplied; poorly provided; not having much: sometimes with of.
  • Diminished; reduced from the original or the proper size or measure; deficient; short.
  • Deficient in quantity or number; insufficient for the need or demand; scant; scanty; not abundant.
  • Few in number; seldom seen; infrequent; uncommon; rare: as, scarce coins; a scarce book.
  • Characterized by scarcity, especially of provisions, or the necessaries of life.
  • Synonyms and Rare, Scarce. See rare.
  • Hardly; barely; scarcely.
  • To make less; diminish; make scant.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. deficient in quantity or number compared with the demand
  • adv. only a very short time before

Etymologies

Middle 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.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Northern Old French scars, escars ( > French échars), from Late Latin *scarsus, probably originally a participle form of *excarpere ("take out"), from Latin ex- + carpere. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • fierce

    MERS

    May 2, 2016

  • And I think in some parts of Ireland words such as fierce and immerse would rhyme with scarce. This will require some thought. Meanwhile,

    I'll search for consonant pairs
    That work without putting on airs.
    Though maybe not crisp,
    If you have a lisp
    The rhymes are not really that scarce.

    May 2, 2016

  • Well, yes and no.
    In my accent, scarce rhymes with yes.

    May 2, 2016

  • The 1909 Rhymester says it has no rhyme.
    https://books.google.ca/books?id=v8ZZAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA134

    May 2, 2016

  • Did I just find another rhymeless word?

    May 2, 2016

  • For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be SCARCE and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills. Deuteronomy 8:7~9.

    March 9, 2011

  • In the rare book field, a scarce publication traditionally isn't as hard to find as a rare publication, but it might take a few years to locate.

    February 25, 2008