Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old North French
Origin: escars, from Vulgar Latin excarpsus 'pulled out', from Latin excerpere; EXCERPT


1 adjective
scarce1 comparative scarcer, superlative scarcest
1 if something is scarce, there is not very much of it available:
Food was often scarce in the winter.
There was fierce competition for the scarce resources.

make yourself scarce

informal to leave a place, especially in order to avoid an unpleasant situation:
I decided it was time to make myself scarce.

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary