Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Insufficiency of amount or supply; shortage.
  • noun Rarity of appearance or occurrence.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Sparingness; parsimony; niggardliness; stinginess.
  • noun The state or condition of being scarce; smallness of quantity or number, or smallness in proportion to the wants or demands; absolutely, deficiency of things necessary to the subsistence of man; dearth; want; famine.
  • noun Synonyms Scarcity, Dearth, Famine. Scarcity of the necessities of life is not so severe as dearth, nor dearth so severe as famine. Primarily, dearth is a scarcity that is felt in high prices, and famine such scarcity that people have to go hungry; but both are generally stronger than their derivation would suggest, famine often standing for extreme difficulty in getting anything whatever to support life.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable the condition of something being scarce or deficient
  • noun countable an inadequate amount of something; a shortage

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

  • noun a small and inadequate amount

Etymologies

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Examples

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