Definition of scant in English:



  • 1Barely sufficient or adequate.

    ‘companies with scant regard for the safety of future generations’
    • ‘Dismissing cochlear implants as risky, very expensive and of limited achievement does scant justice to their proven value.’
    • ‘I live in the Bingley area where a scant amount of my council tax is spent (be it only on my dustbin being emptied).’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Concern has particularly arisen in view of younger men having paid scant attention to the richness of their culture.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With scant regard for human life or political consequences, employing violence as their sole instrument of persuasion, they slaughtered innocent people indiscriminately.’
    • ‘So far they've paid scant attention to the rebel's scheme.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And scant evidence suggests DDT gets into the environment in significant amounts when sprayed indoors.’
    • ‘But of course it's there in the small print, and it's paid scant attention to.’
    • ‘Before, scant data existed on the quantity of fluoride in the national food supply and, therefore, on our overall dietary fluoride consumption.’
    • ‘There is a scant amount of data available, severely limiting the kinds of conclusions one can draw.’
    • ‘The limited information provided on this test was scant and imprecise, and I found it of no assistance.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He didn't put ads on the site and used a scant amount of donations to pay for the server.’
    • ‘Various military commanders were sent to the troubled colony, but they were given limited resources and scant encouragement from home.’
    • ‘This mainstream inward-investment effort paid scant attention to financial services or any other part of the non-manufacturing side of business.’
    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’
      • ‘She scants other, more familiar modes of inquiry in favor of her psychological model.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Now it's Mozart's poise, craft and wit that tend to get scanted.’
      • ‘But perhaps this scants heaven in favor of earth.’
      • ‘By scanting phonics, the city has actually put minority kids at double risk.’
      • ‘His conception of power is reflexive and scants the complexity of New York's political culture.’


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