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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Scarce'

Scarce Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    scarce adj
  1. not enough; hard to find; "meat was scarce during the war"
  2. deficient in quantity or number compared with the demand; "fresh vegetables were scarce during the drought" [ant: abundant] adv : by a small margin; "they could barely hear the speaker"; "we hardly knew them"; "just missed being hit"; "had scarcely rung the bell when the door flew open"; "would have scarce arrived before she would have found some excuse to leave"- W.B.Yeats [syn: barely, hardly, just, scarcely]
Scarce Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Scarce \Scarce\ (sk[^a]rs), a. [Compar. Scarcer (sk[^a]r"s[~e]r); superl. Scarcest.] [OE. scars, OF. escars, eschars, LL. scarpsus, excarpsus, for L. excerptus, p. p. of excerpere to pick out, and hence to contract, to shorten; ex (see Ex-) + carpere. See Carpet, and cf. Excerp.]
  1. Not plentiful or abundant; in small quantity in proportion to the demand; not easily to be procured; rare; uncommon. You tell him silver is scarcer now in England, and therefore risen one fifth in value. --Locke. The scarcest of all is a Pescennius Niger on a medallion well preserved. --Addison.
  2. Scantily supplied (with); deficient (in); -- with of. [Obs.] ``A region scarce of prey.'' --Milton.
  3. Sparing; frugal; parsimonious; stingy. [Obs.] ``Too scarce ne too sparing.'' --Chaucer. To make one's self scarce, to decamp; to depart. [Slang] Syn: Rare; infrequent; deficient. See Rare.
Scarce Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Scarce \Scarce\, Scarcely \Scarce"ly\, adv.
  1. With difficulty; hardly; scantly; barely; but just. With a scarce well-lighted flame. --Milton. The eldest scarcely five year was of age. --Chaucer. Slowly she sails, and scarcely stems the tides. --Dryden. He had scarcely finished, when the laborer arrived who had been sent for my ransom. --W. Irving.
  2. Frugally; penuriously. [Obs.] --Chaucer.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Scarce'

Scarcity is the fundamental economic problem of having seemingly unlimited human needs and wants, in a world of limited resources. It states that society has insufficient productive resources to fulfill all human wants and needs. Alternatively, scarcity implies that not all of society's goals can be pursued at the same time; trade-offs are made of one good against others. In an influential 1932 essay, Lionel Robbins defined economics as "the science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses."

In biology, scarcity can refer to the uncommonness or rarity of certain species. Such species are often protected by local, national or international law in order to prevent extinction.

Goods (and services) that are scarce are called economic goods (or simply goods if their scarcity is presumed). Other goods are called free goods if they are desired but in such abundance that they are not scarce, such as air and seawater. Too much of something freely available can informally be referred to as a bad, but then its absence can be classified as a good, thus, a mown lawn, clean air, etc.

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'Scarce' in famous quotation sentence

* As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand. - Josh Billings

* Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun of York, And all the clouds that loured upon our house In the deep bosom of the ocean buried. Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths, Our bruised arms hung up for monuments, Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings, Our dreadful marches to delightful measures. Grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds To fright the souls of fearful adversaries, He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber To the lascivious pleasing of a lute. But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks, Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass I, that am rudely stamped, and want love's majesty To strut before a wanton ambling nymph I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion, Cheated of feature by dissembling nature, Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time Into this breathing world, scarce half made up, And that so lamely and unfashionable That dogs bark at me as I halt by them,-- Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace, Have no delight to pass away the time, Unless to spy my shadow in the sun. - William Shakespeare

* Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth. (said of Mahatma Gandhi) - Albert Einstein

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