top of page
The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce scanty (audio)

Dictionary definition of scanty

Noticeably deficient or limited in quantity, extent, or substance, often indicating an insufficiency or inadequacy.
"He had a scanty knowledge of the subject and struggled to answer the questions."

Detailed meaning of scanty

When we say something is scanty, it suggests that there is not enough of it to meet a particular need or expectation. For instance, scanty rainfall might refer to a low amount of precipitation that is inadequate for agricultural purposes. "Scanty" can also be used to describe clothing or fabric that is very revealing or minimal in coverage. This term conveys a sense of insufficiency or scarcity, often implying that more is needed or expected to fulfill a particular purpose or standard. It is a word used to highlight the lack or inadequacy of something in various contexts.

Example sentences containing scanty

1. The scanty clothing worn by the model was considered inappropriate.
2. The hiker had a scanty supply of water for the long journey ahead.
3. The restaurant served a scanty portion of food on the plate.
4. She wore a scanty dress that barely covered her body.
5. The archaeologists found a scanty amount of artifacts at the dig site.
6. The weather forecast predicted a scanty amount of rainfall this month.

History and etymology of scanty

The adjective 'scanty' has its roots in the Old Norse language. It is believed to have been borrowed from the Old Norse word 'skamt,' which means 'short' or 'scant.' In Old Norse, 'skamt' described something that was noticeably deficient or limited in quantity or extent. Over time, this term made its way into English, where it became 'scanty,' retaining its original sense of indicating insufficiency or inadequacy. In English, 'scanty' is used to describe things that are notably deficient or limited in quantity, extent, or substance. The term underscores the concept of scarcity and insufficiency, reflecting its historical connection to the idea of something being short or insufficient in nature.

Quiz: Find the meaning of scanty

Try Again!


Further usage examples of scanty

1. The library had a scanty collection of books on ancient history.
2. The organization provided scanty support for the homeless population.
3. The farmer had a scanty harvest due to the drought.
4. The hotel room had only a scanty supply of toiletries.
5. The actress wore a scanty costume for the performance.
6. The company faced financial troubles due to its scanty profits.
7. The student submitted a scanty essay with minimal research.
8. The magazine contained scanty information about the upcoming event.
9. The museum had a scanty display of artworks in its temporary exhibition.
10. The store had a scanty selection of clothing in larger sizes.
11. The company's annual report revealed a scanty growth rate.
12. The library had a scanty number of computers available for public use.
13. The village had a scanty population after many residents moved away.
14. The student's explanation of the concept was scanty and lacked detail.



insufficient, abundant, ample, plentiful


Middle School 2, Ineffectual and Obsolete, Size and Amount, Absence and Lack

bottom of page