Word of the Day: Scant


scant / skănt


1. barely sufficient; limited

Books that children read but once are of scant service to them; those that have really helped to warm our imaginations and to train our faculties are the few old friends we know so well that they have become a portion of our thinking selves.

From “Books and Men” by Agnes Repplier, 1855 – 1950

2. insufficient in amount; not quite the specified quantity

A scant cup just means just shy (usually 1-2 Tablespoons) of a full cup.

“Kitchen Tips: Buttermilk Substitute”, ‘Sugar Sun Run’, www.sugarspunrun.com/easy-buttermilk-substitute, accessed November 30, 2023

3. in short supply

Where coin is not common, provisions can be scant.

British Proverb


1. to provide with an inadequate amount of

And the invasion was withal so early, corn being yet green, that the most of them were scanted with victual.

From “The History of the Peloponnesian War” by Thucydides, c. 460 BC – c. 404 BC

2. to withhold; to limit the supply; to hold back

I already know that people will want to scant the oil and I have dropped 1/4 cup myself on occasion but don’t do more or you will ruin the texture.

Debbie Fund, “Teddie’s Apple Cake”, ‘Kosher from Jerusalem’, www.kosherfromjerusalem.com/2019/03/19/teddies-apple-cake%EF%BB%BF/#top, accessed November 30, 2023

3. to treat as unimportant; to neglect

I pray you, sir, take patience. I have hope

You less know how to value her desert

Than she to scant her duty.

From “King Lear” by William Shakespeare, 1564 – 1616