Definition of scant in English:



  • 1Barely sufficient or adequate.

    ‘companies with scant regard for the safety of future generations’
    • ‘Concern has particularly arisen in view of younger men having paid scant attention to the richness of their culture.’
    • ‘In the scant amount of light from the street lights, I was able to make out his face, not exactly clearly, but enough to know who it was.’
    • ‘Various military commanders were sent to the troubled colony, but they were given limited resources and scant encouragement from home.’
    • ‘But of course it's there in the small print, and it's paid scant attention to.’
    • ‘He didn't put ads on the site and used a scant amount of donations to pay for the server.’
    • ‘You adapted the monarchy successfully to the modern world - and that has been a challenge because it is a world that can pay scant regard to tradition and often values passing fashions above enduring faith.’
    • ‘You chose to use the motorway with scant regard for others, for your own purposes and your own enjoyment, and that is a crime in itself.’
    • ‘I live in the Bingley area where a scant amount of my council tax is spent (be it only on my dustbin being emptied).’
    • ‘There is a scant amount of data available, severely limiting the kinds of conclusions one can draw.’
    • ‘Still, with just this scant amount of evidence, that one news source made it sound like your car might be vulnerable to viruses passed on from passing cars.’
    • ‘This mainstream inward-investment effort paid scant attention to financial services or any other part of the non-manufacturing side of business.’
    • ‘The relatively scant amount of English written law is due not to wars and problems of documentary survival, but to its distance from post-Roman legal culture.’
    • ‘Sometimes, she relied on her live-in boyfriend, the father of her last child, to provide for the household but his scant contribution was hardly enough to pay the rent and put food on the table.’
    • ‘The ball was pumped high and handsome from end to end, with scant regard for skill or teamwork, and this took place in perfect conditions on a summer's evening that appeared to be made for football.’
    • ‘Dismissing cochlear implants as risky, very expensive and of limited achievement does scant justice to their proven value.’
    • ‘The limited information provided on this test was scant and imprecise, and I found it of no assistance.’
    • ‘So far they've paid scant attention to the rebel's scheme.’
    • ‘And scant evidence suggests DDT gets into the environment in significant amounts when sprayed indoors.’
    • ‘With scant regard for human life or political consequences, employing violence as their sole instrument of persuasion, they slaughtered innocent people indiscriminately.’
    • ‘Before, scant data existed on the quantity of fluoride in the national food supply and, therefore, on our overall dietary fluoride consumption.’
    little, little or no, minimal, hardly any, limited, negligible, barely sufficient, meagre
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1attributive Barely amounting to a specified number or quantity.
      ‘she weighed a scant two pounds’
      • ‘At 16 years old and a scant 118 pounds, Swan was a stick figure, to say the least.’
      • ‘Hardly wearing out its welcome at a scant 50 minutes, the feature is accompanied by the shorts Intent, Strap 'Em Down!’


[with object]North American
  • 1Provide grudgingly or in insufficient amounts.

    ‘he does not scant his attention to the later writings’
    1. 1.1 Deal with inadequately; neglect.
      ‘the press regularly scants a host of issues relating to safety and health’
      • ‘It should also be noted that the bottom of the socio-economic distribution is scanted in these data because this segment of the population is not favored by adoption agencies.’
      • ‘By scanting phonics, the city has actually put minority kids at double risk.’
      • ‘This meant that events presumably of interest mainly to Poles - such as the 1944 Rising - would often be scanted by the media.’
      • ‘A high operations tempo means that generals, understandably, strain every nerve to keep front line units manned with the best people - even if that scants the educational system of teachers and top students.’
      • ‘She scants other, more familiar modes of inquiry in favor of her psychological model.’
      • ‘Having given out forms enough to beget activity in human taste, she scants her work that we may go on and exert a creative fancy for ourselves.’
      • ‘His conception of power is reflexive and scants the complexity of New York's political culture.’
      • ‘But perhaps this scants heaven in favor of earth.’
      • ‘Since all the power of psychodrama resides in the human face and voice, the physical world is scanted and this limits the visual aspects of the moviemaking.’
      • ‘In one way or another, all these moves in its backyard overrode or scanted EU sensibilities.’
      • ‘Our unprecedented affluence also explains much, although its role as a facilitator has been relatively scanted in most discussions of anti-Americanism that I have seen.’
      • ‘This point of view is very successful at accounting for the arbitrarily fast connection between the outcomes of correlated measurements, but it scants the objective features of the quantum state.’
      • ‘Now it's Mozart's poise, craft and wit that tend to get scanted.’


Middle English: from Old Norse skamt, neuter of skammr ‘short’.