[ UK /skˈe‍əs/ ]
[ US /ˈskɛɹs/ ]
  1. almost not
    they scarcely ever used the emergency generator
    he hardly ever goes fishing
    we were so far back in the theater, we could barely read the subtitles
    she barely seemed to notice him
    he was scarce sixteen years old
    I can hardly hear what she is saying
  2. only a very short time before
    we hardly knew them
    had scarcely rung the bell when the door flew open
    would have scarce arrived before she would have found some excuse to leave
  1. deficient in quantity or number compared with the demand
    fresh vegetables were scarce during the drought
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How To Use scarce In A Sentence

  • What is at stake in this novelty could scarcely be greater.
  • Twice through the following night was I wakened by the boat being hurled upon her beam-ends by the blows of the seas; but she righted easily, and took scarce any water, the canvas proving a very roof of safety. The Boats of the 'Glen Carrig'
  • They are very much secluded from the rest of Chiloe, and have scarcely any sort of commerce, except sometimes in a little oil, which they get from seal-blubber. Journal of researches into the geology and natural history of the various countries visited by H.M.S. Beagle
  • Scarcely had I managed, helped by the second mate, Aaron Northrup, to lower away half-a-dozen barrels and kegs, when all cried from the boat that they were casting off. Chapter 19
  • Expectations, helpfully, could scarcely be lower.
  • In Athens they scarcely appear above the horizon, so the early Greek texts undermined their importance.
  • Dio Cassius can scarcely be mistaken when he says that Tyre and Sidon were "enslaved" -- i.e. deprived of freedom -- by Augustus, [14477] who must certainly have revoked the privilege originally granted by Pompey. History of Phoenicia
  • A big-jawed and relatively small-brained hominid known as Paranthropus consumed mainly nuts and other hard foods, causing it to die out as these resources became scarce in African habitats.
  • He scarce scrupled a penny after I gave him leave to try a sword dint upon it. The Fair Maid of Perth
  • Some critics will accuse Duffy of acting as apologist for a campaign of violent repression, but this would scarcely be fair: “confronted by the sanctified savageries of the Tudor age, it would be a hard heart that withheld pity from the victims or felt no indignation against the perpetrators”. A Not so Bloody Mary ?
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