(adjective, adverb)


1. uncommon, rare; difficult to find; insufficient to meet a demand.

- fresh vegetables were scarce during the drought

Similar word(s): rare, tight, meager, meagerly, meagre, scrimpy, stingy


1. only a very short time before

- had scarcely rung the bell when the door flew open

- would have scarce arrived before she would have found some excuse to leave

Similar word(s): barely, hardly, just, scarcely

2. almost not

- he was scarce sixteen years old

- they scarcely ever used the emergency generator

Similar word(s): barely, hardly, scarcely