Definition for SCARCE

SCARCE, a. [It. scarso; D. schaarsch. In Arm. scarz is short, and perhaps the word is from the rout of shear, to cut. The Spanish equivalent word is escaso, and it is observable that some of our common people pronounce this word scase.]

  1. Not plentiful or abundant; being in small quantity in proportion to the demand. We say, water is scarce, wheat, rye, or barley is scarce, money is scarce, when the quantity is not fully adequate to the demand.
  2. Being few in number and scattered; rare; uncommon. Good horses are scarce. The scarcest of all is a Pescennius Niger on a medallion well preserved. – Addison.

Return to page 34 of the letter “S”.