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[skan-tee] /ˈskæn ti/
adjective, scantier, scantiest.
scant in amount, quantity, etc.; barely sufficient.
meager; not adequate.
lacking amplitude in extent or compass.
noun, plural scanties.
scanties, very brief underpants, especially for women.
Origin of scanty
1650-60; scant + -y1; (def 4) blend of scanty and panties
Related forms
scantily, adverb
scantiness, noun
unscanty, adjective
1, 2. Scanty, meager, sparse refer to insufficiency or deficiency in quantity, number, etc. Scanty denotes smallness or insufficiency of quantity, number, supply, etc.: a scanty supply of food. Meager indicates that something is poor, stinted, or inadequate: meager fare; a meager income. Sparse applies particularly to that which grows thinly or is thinly strewn or sown, often over a wide area: sparse vegetation; a sparse population.
1, 2. plentiful, ample. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for scantily
  • We've all heard scantily clad spokespeople make bogus claims about instant weight-loss supplements on late-night television.
  • The stars were there, and scantily clad dancers celebrated boundaries and wickets.
  • Onlookers admire a shoulder-mounted flame instrument and its scantily clad fire player.
  • Females aren't as scantily clad as they used to be, but males still get the better t-shirts.
  • By denying himself and faring more scantily than his neighbours, he secured leisure for pursuits they could not comprehend.
  • The opossum is easily recognized by its pale face and scantily haired tail.
  • scantily covered with white down at first, feathers replace the down coats in three to five weeks.
  • Beyond the glacier are extremely bold and rugged mountains, scantily clothed with forests nearly to their summits.
British Dictionary definitions for scantily


adjective scantier, scantiest
limited; barely enough; meagre
insufficient; inadequate
lacking fullness; small
Derived Forms
scantily, adverb
scantiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for scantily

1774; see scanty + -ly (2).



1650s, "meager, barely sufficient for use;" 1701, "too small, limited in scope," from scant + -y (2). Related: Scantiness (1560s). Scanties (n.) "underwear" (especially for women) attested from 1928.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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