scant, scanty
Both words have meanings to do with smallness or insufficiency. Scant is of Norse origin and came into English as several parts of speech including noun and verb as well as adjective. In current use it is only an adjective and even then its use is largely confined to certain set combinations such as scant attention and scant regard. It is only used in attributive position (i.e. before a noun), whereas the related adjective scanty can also be used after a verb and has more general scope, although it tends to be used with reference to concrete rather than abstract nouns (e.g. a scanty lunch / scanty clothing / affordable property in London is scanty).

Modern English usage. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Scanty — Scant y, a. [Compar. {Scantier}; superl. {Scantiest}.] [From {Scant}, a.] 1. Wanting amplitude or extent; narrow; small; not abundant. [1913 Webster] His dominions were very narrow and scanty. Locke. [1913 Webster] Now scantier limits the proud… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • scanty — index de minimus, deficient, imperfect, inappreciable, insufficient, marginal, minimal, negligible …   Law dictionary

  • scanty — (adj.) 1650s, from SCANT (Cf. scant) + Y (Cf. y) (2) …   Etymology dictionary

  • scanty — scant, skimpy, scrimpy, *meager, exiguous, spare, sparse Analogous words: *deficient Antonyms: ample, plentiful: profuse …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • scanty — ► ADJECTIVE (scantier, scantiest) ▪ small or insufficient in quantity or amount. DERIVATIVES scantily adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • scanty — [skan′tē] adj. scantier, scantiest [ SCANT + Y2] 1. barely sufficient; not ample; meager 2. insufficient; not enough 3. narrow; small; close SYN. MEAGER scantily adv. scantiness …   English World dictionary

  • scanty — scantily, adv. scantiness, n. /skan tee/, adj., scantier, scantiest. n., pl. scanties. adj. 1. scant in amount, quantity, etc.; barely sufficient. 2. meager; not adequate. 3. lacking amplitude in extent or compass. n …   Universalium

  • scanty — [[t]skæ̱nti[/t]] scantier, scantiest 1) ADJ GRADED You describe something as scanty when there is less of it than you think there should be. So far, what scanty evidence we have points to two suspects. 2) ADJ GRADED If someone is wearing scanty… …   English dictionary

  • scanty — UK [ˈskæntɪ] / US adjective Word forms scanty : adjective scanty comparative scantier superlative scantiest 1) not much, and less than is needed We have only received scanty information so far. 2) scanty clothes show parts of your body that are… …   English dictionary

  • scanty — scant•y [[t]ˈskæn ti[/t]] adj. scant•i•er, scant•i•est, 1) insufficient in amount, extent, or degree 2) cvb clo scanties, very brief underpants, esp. for women • Etymology: 1650–60; scant (in obs. or dial. n. sense “dearth”) + y I; (def. 4)b.… …   From formal English to slang

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