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Scarce   Listen
adjective
Scarce  adj.  (compar. scarcer; superl. scarcest)  
1.
Not plentiful or abundant; in small quantity in proportion to the demand; not easily to be procured; rare; uncommon. "You tell him silver is scarcer now in England, and therefore risen one fifth in value." "The scarcest of all is a Pescennius Niger on a medallion well preserved."
2.
Scantily supplied (with); deficient (in); with of. (Obs.) "A region scarce of prey."
3.
Sparing; frugal; parsimonious; stingy. (Obs.) "Too scarce ne too sparing."
To make one's self scarce, to decamp; to depart. (Slang)
Synonyms: Rare; infrequent; deficient. See Rare.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Scarce" Quotes from Famous Books



... lotus, or are spoken of as being "born of the Lotus." "The Chinese,"[1] says the author of Rites and Ceremonies, "worship a Goddess whom they call Puzza, and of whom their priests give the following account;—they say that 'three nymphs came down from heaven to wash themselves in the river, but scarce had they gotten in the water before the herb lotus appeared on one of their garments, with its coral fruit upon it. They were surprised to think whence it could proceed; and the nymph upon whose garment ...
— The Journal of Abnormal Psychology - Volume 10

... philharmonic orchestra in New York playing twenty-four hours a day for glory. We were always building up our band with infinite pains, only to have Fate jerk the gizzard out of it just as perfection was in sight. Talent was scarce, and the rude, heartless city was forever reaching down into Homeburg and yanking some indispensable players away. Of course there was always a waiting list of youngsters who would coax a few hoarse toots out of the alto horn, and we always had ...
— Homeburg Memories • George Helgesen Fitch

... the case fairly enough as it stood between the Marble Workers' Association and Rowland Slocum. The system of this branch of the trades-union kept trained workmen comparatively scarce, and enabled them to command regular and even advanced prices at periods when other trades were depressed. The older hands looked upon a fresh apprentice in the yard with much the same favor as workingmen of the era of Jacquard looked upon the introduction of a ...
— The Stillwater Tragedy • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... where they were laying the table for tea. Babbletown always did seem to me to have more than its fair share of female population. I think I would like to live in one of those mining towns out in Colorado, where women are as scarce as hairs on the inside of a man's hand. Somebody coughed as I was going up the walk. Did you ever have a girl cough at you?—one of those mean, teasing, expressive ...
— The Blunders of a Bashful Man • Metta Victoria Fuller Victor

... did we have when we were married? Why, little girl, you just got through saying that the happiest days we ever spent were up there in the woods when money was so scarce that we knew the date on every dollar we owned—and every scratch and nick on them—and the dimes and ...
— The Promise - A Tale of the Great Northwest • James B. Hendryx

... formerly a man and a woman living in the parish of Llanlavan, in the place which is called Hwrdh. And work became scarce, so the man said to his wife, "I will go search for work, and you may live here." So he took fair leave, and travelled far toward the East, and at last came to the house of a farmer and ...
— Celtic Fairy Tales • Joseph Jacobs (coll. & ed.)

... A man: to me a God he seems, Whose life in virtuous thoughts and deeds The lives of other men exceeds. When I in distant Kekaya stayed, And thou hadst sought the forest shade, Our father died, the saints' delight, So constant in each holy rite. Scarce with thy wife and Lakshman thou Hadst journeyed forth to keep the vow, When mourning for his son, forspent, To heavenly rest the monarch went. Then up, O lord of men, away! His funeral rites of water pay: I and Satrughna, ere we came, Neglected ...
— The Ramayana • VALMIKI

... that ever swayed Was that wherein our ancestors betrayed Their freeborn reason to the Stagyrite, And made his torch their universal light. So truth, while only one supplied the state, Grew scarce and dear and yet sophisticate. Still it was bought, like emp'ric wares or charms, Hard words ...
— Among My Books - First Series • James Russell Lowell

... absentee. nobody; nobody present, nobody on earth; not a soul; ame qui vive[Fr]. V. be absent &c. adj.; keep away, keep out of the way; play truant, absent oneself, stay away; keep aloof, hold aloof. withdraw, make oneself scarce, vacate; go away &c. 293. Adj. absent, not present, away, nonresident, gone, from home; missing; lost; wanting; omitted; nowhere to be found; inexistence &c. 2[obs3]. empty, void; vacant, vacuous; untenanted, unoccupied, uninhabited; tenantless; barren, sterile; desert, deserted; devoid; uninhabitable. ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... guanicoes, and a great variety of wild fowl, particularly ducks, geese, widgeon, and sea-pies, besides many others for which we have no name. Here is also such plenty of excellent mussels, that a boat may be loaded with them every time it is low water. Wood indeed is scarce; however in some parts of this coast there are bushes, which in a case of necessity might produce a ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 12 • Robert Kerr

... with shimmering glee, Scarce seen, now lost, yet onward borne! Night comes with wind and rain, and he No more will dance before the morn, Far out ...
— An Elementary Study of Insects • Leonard Haseman

... soothe me; but at its close her eyes dropped upon her work and she remained silent. "Your father says that every man who has an interest in the state should give it pledges"—here Anna smiled, but so covertly that her sweet mouth scarce betrayed the impulse—"and that none others can ever control it to advantage. I have thought of asking my father to buy a borough and a baronetcy, for with the first, and the influence that his money ...
— The Monikins • J. Fenimore Cooper

... nameless atrocities, fill up the terrible picture, of impotent justice and triumphant guilt. But the guilt is not all Spanish and Portuguese. The English Government can enforce its demands on the puny cabinets of Madrid and Lisbon, scarce conscious of a substantive existence, in all that concerns our petty interests: wherever justice and mercy to mankind demand our interference, there our voice sinks within us, and no sound is uttered. That any ...
— The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the - Abolition of the African Slave-Trade, by the British Parliament (1839) • Thomas Clarkson

... have that fellow"—shaking his fist toward the floating paper—"within arm's reach. Wouldn't I pummel him some? O no, of course not,—not at all. Only, if he wants a sound skin, I'd advise him, as a friend, to be scarce when I'm round, because it'd very ...
— What Answer? • Anna E. Dickinson

... purpose either, but as yet she had no hunger for the possible results of thought, and how then could she care to think? Seated on the edge of her bed, weary and wet and self- accused, she recalled, and pondered, and, after her faculty, compared the two scarce comparable men, until the voice of her aunt, calling to her to make haste and come to tea, made her start up, and in haste remove her drenched garments. The old lady imagined from her delay she was out of temper because she had sent for her home; but, when she appeared, ...
— Mary Marston • George MacDonald

... long I will be gone I cannot say; we will go in all nearly a thousand miles. If game is plenty and my success is good, I may return in six weeks; more probably I shall be out a couple of months, and if game is so scarce that we have to travel very far to get it, or if our horses give out or run away, or we get caught by the snow, we may be out very much longer—till toward Christmas; though I will try ...
— Roosevelt in the Bad Lands • Hermann Hagedorn

... cloth, rice, and other products of the country, or three mayces of gold and one fowl—opportunity is given for the lack of system now existing, each one collecting as he pleases, with great offense to the Indians, and harm to the country. For when gold is plentiful, and reals scarce, they ask for reals; when the latter are plentiful, and there is a scarcity of gold, they ask for gold, even when the Indians have to buy it; and when crops are plentiful, they ask for money, but when these are lacking, they ask ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 - Volume VI, 1583-1588 • Emma Helen Blair

... people cannot attain to are spurned and spat upon by Mr. Wet-eyes. The man is beside himself with his tears. For, tears that would console and assure us for a long season after them, he will weep over them as we scarce weep over our worst sins. His closet always turns all his comeliness to corruption. He comes out of his closet after all night in it with his psalm-book wrung to pulp, and with all his righteousnesses torn to filthy rags; till all men escape Mr. Wet-eyes' society—all men except ...
— Bunyan Characters - Third Series - The Holy War • Alexander Whyte

... fight from break of day did last Till setting of the sun; For when they rung the evening bell, The battle scarce was done. ...
— A Bundle of Ballads • Various

... from the temptations of the wicked world, where candidates would be trained for the service of the Church and her Master, where missionaries, on their way to British Colonies, could rest awhile, and learn the English language, where children, in an age when schools were scarce, could be brought up in the fear of God, and where trade would be conducted, not for private profit, but for the benefit of all. At Fulneck, in a word, the principles of Christ would be applied to the whole round of Moravian life. There dishonesty would be unknown; cruel oppression ...
— History of the Moravian Church • J. E. Hutton

... she could keep well in sight of the frigate scudding at a distance, by putting on full sail. We had enough hands aboard to reef topsails man-o'-war fashion, which is a rare thing in these days, sir, now that able seamen are so scarce on trading craft. And I hear that men from square-rigged vessels are liked much the best in the navy, as being more ready for use? So that I shouldn't be altogether so raw,' said Bob earnestly, 'if I could enter on your ship, sir. Still, if I can't, ...
— The Trumpet-Major • Thomas Hardy

... frozen stiff. Although only about 2,000 yards behind the trenches from which the French started to the assault of Frise on July 1st, it was not badly knocked about. Houses and barns were available for billets, but the men suffered considerably from the cold, as fuel was very scarce, and the frost was now at its height, the thermometer marking 20 or more degrees of frost every night. Then followed a few days in the great French Adrian Huts, each holding a Company, in a camp by the edge of the Somme Canal a few ...
— The War Service of the 1/4 Royal Berkshire Regiment (T. F.) • Charles Robert Mowbray Fraser Cruttwell

... to be very fine, hunted only humming birds, and the other hunted only mice. The first had to hunt much longer than the other, because humming birds were scarce, so that it spent nearly all its life in getting food, while the other had little trouble to get all it wanted. "How unfortunate it is," said the first cat, "that I have formed my liking for what is so hard to get and is so little when I ...
— The Handy Cyclopedia of Things Worth Knowing - A Manual of Ready Reference • Joseph Triemens

... timber-line, which is three thousand feet above the normal range of the species. Why did not this birdlet remain within the bounds set by the scientific guild? Suit for contempt of court should be brought against it. Redstarts must have been very scarce in the regions over which I rambled, else I certainly should have noticed birds that are so fearless and so ...
— Birds of the Rockies • Leander Sylvester Keyser

... endure the presence of a gay young lady. But I was not lonely; the drive up Talcott Mountain, under the rude portcullis of the toll-gate, through fragrant woods, by trickling brooks, past huge boulders that scarce a wild vine dare cling to, with its feeble, delicate tendrils, is all exquisite, and full of living repose; and turning to descend the mountain, just where a brook drops headlong with clattering leap into a steep black ravine, and comes out over a tiny green meadow, sliding ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 5, March, 1858 • Various

... (occurring frequently on the heights and of various shapes) is attempted to be explained by divers theories. One man tells us they were beacons; but, first, what an enormous one is here, one hundred and twenty-four feet by sixty of blazing wood, timber being scarce too! next, they sometimes occur in low situations from which a flame could scarcely be seen; thirdly, common wood fire will not melt granite. Another pundit says they are volcanic. O wondrous volcano to spout oblong concentric areas of stone walls! ...
— My Life as an Author • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... called for me," she explained. "Taxis are so scarce in our part of the world on Sunday nights, and when one does happen to know a man who makes enough money on Friday to buy a fleet of ...
— The Profiteers • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... that can crow in any yard; such cocks, however, we know are scarce. Undy Scott, as he left the Old Bailey, was aware that he had cut a sorry figure, and felt that he must immediately do something to put himself right again, at any rate before his portion of the world. He must perform some exploit uncommonly cheeky in order to cover his late ...
— The Three Clerks • Anthony Trollope

... as a personification of the monkish zealots who hovered about the sovereigns in their campaigns, marring the chivalry of the camp by the bigotry of the cloister, and chronicling in rapturous strains every act of intolerance toward the Moors. In fact, scarce a sally of the pretended friar when he bursts forth in rapturous eulogy of some great stroke of selfish policy on the part of Ferdinand, or exults over some overwhelming disaster of the gallant and devoted Moslems, but is taken almost word for word from ...
— Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada • Washington Irving

... of the world! With something good and bad of every land; Greater than thee have lost their seat— Greater scarce none can stand. 79 BAILEY: ...
— Handy Dictionary of Poetical Quotations • Various

... a village, with its gray-brown houses and gray brown shadows huddled confusedly together. Probably it looked much the same when the Camisards used to hide themselves and their gunpowder in caves near by; and certainly scarce a stone or brick had been added or removed since Stevenson's eyes saw the town, and his pen wrote of it, as he turned away there from the Tarn region, instead of being the first Englishman to explore it. And what a wild region it looked as we and the Aigle ...
— The Motor Maid • Alice Muriel Williamson and Charles Norris Williamson

... professional prospects, as he had just explained to Alice, were more encouraging than hitherto; for twenty years he had practised medicine at Clevedon, but with such trifling emolument that the needs of his large family left him scarce a margin over expenditure; now, at the age of forty-nine—it was 1872—he looked forward with a larger hope. Might he not reasonably count on ten or fifteen more years of activity? Clevedon was growing in repute as a seaside resort; new houses ...
— The Odd Women • George Gissing

... is our melancholy duty to fill his post. This will not be easy; Alan was a keen sportsman and a man of tact. He commanded the farmers' respect and had the interest of the hunt at heart. For all that, the hunt is a useful institution and must be kept up. Fish are getting scarce; modern field drainage sends down the water in sudden floods and when, between times, the rivers run low the trout and salmon are the otter's easy prey. It is our duty to preserve the fisheries, and help, as far as we are ...
— Partners of the Out-Trail • Harold Bindloss

... better take my warning," said the Fairy, her wrinkled mouth working with passion. "Old as I am, I have some powers left that you little suspect. Scarce an hour ago I changed myself into a pool and Lady Daphne into a cypress" (she naturally omitted to add how narrowly they had escaped having to remain so indefinitely), "and by aid of the same spell I could transform ...
— In Brief Authority • F. Anstey

... or forty baidarkas and twice as many men. Otters are often found at some distance from shore, and can be seen only when the water is quiet. The natives prefer the bow and arrow to the .40-65 Winchesters the company have given them, even claiming that otter are scarce because they have been driven from their old grounds by the noise of firearms. The bows, four feet long, are very stout, and strongly reinforced with cords of sinew along the back. The arrows, a little under ...
— American Big Game in Its Haunts • Various

... finally clogged it with such conditions as they hope will prostrate the negotiation; for instance, they propose to the contracting powers, to guaranty all their possessions in Europe, Asia, and America, but as the States have gone so far, they will scarce recede, should this article be refused by the others. The eyes of Europe are anxiously turned to America and the West Indies; the friends of liberty hope everything from our union and perseverance, and the expectations of our enemies are founded on the reverse. Neither ...
— The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. IX • Various

... the tropical forest—hot and red and smoky—his fiery ball imparting something of a coppery molten hue to the vast seas of luxuriant verdure, rolling, with scarce a break, on all sides, far as the eye can reach. But beneath, in the dim shade, where the air is choked by rotting undergrowth and tangled vegetation, the now slanting rays are powerless to penetrate, powerless to dispel the steamy miasmic exhalations. Silence, ...
— The Sign of the Spider • Bertram Mitford

... tall, but everywhere that irregular saw-like profile, formed by the steep-pitched gable-tops, appeared silhouetted against the sky (horizontal roof-lines, more in accordance with the new style of Van Campen, were slowly introduced but remained scarce). All these house-fronts were, as we said before, gay in colour and enlivened by sandstone ornaments, windows with their small glistening panes set in lead, brightly painted shutters, here and there woodwork decorating the house-fronts, and as a rule an artistically carved stone-panel with ...
— Rembrandt's Amsterdam • Frits Lugt

... once more the Thanksgiving tide was in Mapleton. This year it had come cold and frosty. Chill driving autumn storms had stripped the painted glories from the trees, and remorseless frosts had chased the hardy ranks of the asters and golden-rods back and back till scarce a blossom could be found in the deepest and most sequestered spots. The great elm over the Pitkin farm-house had been stripped of its golden glory, and now rose against the yellow evening sky, with its infinite delicacies of net work and tracery, in their way quite as beautiful as the full ...
— Betty's Bright Idea; Deacon Pitkin's Farm; and The First Christmas - of New England • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... Flossy had been rather troublesome children before the arrival of the baby. Mrs Franklin's lodgers were fond of calling them 'little termagants,' and liked exceedingly to hint to the mother that if the termagants did not make themselves scarce they would be obliged to seek other quarters. Poor Mrs Franklin was always extremely frightened when these things were said, for she knew the rent, and to a certain extent the daily bread of the children, depended on the lodgers. When ...
— Dickory Dock • L. T. Meade

... be forgotten friend; concerning whose philosophical opinions men will no doubt judge variously, every one approving or condemning them, according as they happen to coincide or disagree with his own; but concerning whose character and conduct there can scarce be a difference of opinion. His temper, indeed, seemed to be more happily balanced, if I may be allowed such an expression, than that perhaps of any other man I have ever known. Even in the lowest state of his fortune, his great and necessary frugality never hindered him from exercising, ...
— The History of England, Volume I • David Hume

... wines, and could tell all the famous old Madeiras from each other, "Eclipse," "Juno," the almost fabulously scarce and precious "White-top," and the rest. He struck the nativity of the Mediterranean Madeira before it had fairly moistened ...
— The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (The Physician and Poet not the Jurist)

... tyrant's rod, O'er creatures like himself, with soul from thee, Yet dare to boast of perfect liberty: Away, away, I'd rather hold my neck By doubtful tenure from a Sultan's beck, In climes where liberty has scarce been named, Nor any right, but that of ruling, claimed, Than thus to live, where bastard freedom waves Her fustian flag in mockery o'er slaves; Where (motley laws admitting no degree Betwixt the vilely slaved, and madly ...
— Domestic Manners of the Americans • Fanny Trollope

... itself up, cleanse its streets, tidy up its shops, sanitate its surroundings, and offer decent accommodation to tourists. The latter does exist, but is scarce and hard to find. The people of Cork, Limerick, and Galway blame England and English rule for the poverty which is their own fault alone. They hate the Northerners as idle unsuccessful men hate successful industrious men. ...
— Ireland as It Is - And as It Would be Under Home Rule • Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

... taught in one room of a log dwelling-house. When but three years old, father was a pupil in the first school that was taught in the new school-house, by Miss Lodema Sackett, and continued to attend school a part of every year. Books were scarce, but he was fond of reading, and read, over and over, all that ...
— Personal Recollections of Pardee Butler • Pardee Butler

... Father's going to town With a load o' red russets, to meet Captain Brown; The mortgage is due, and it's got to be paid, And father is troubled to raise it, I'm 'fraid! We've had a bad year, with the drouth and the blight The harvest was short, and the apple crop light; The early hay cutting scarce balanced the cost, And the heft o' the after-math's ruined with frost; A gloomy Thanksgiving to-morrow will be— But the ways o' the Lord are not our ways, ...
— The Poets and Poetry of Cecil County, Maryland • Various

... last to sail, for he had tarried many days to do pleasure to Agamemnon, lord of all the Greeks. Twelve ships he had with him—twelve he had brought to Troy—and in each there were some fifty men, being scarce half of those that had sailed in them in the old days, so many valiant heroes slept the last sleep by Simois and Scamander and in the plain and on the seashore, slain in battle or by the shafts ...
— Myths and Legends of All Nations • Various

... gracious. Let all our things (to the world) be done in charity towards them; pity them, pray for them, be familiar with them for their good. Let us lay aside our foolish, worldly, carnal grandeur; let us not walk the streets, and have such behaviours as signify we are scarce for touching of the poor ones that are left behind, no not with a pair of tongs. It becomes us ...
— The Jerusalem Sinner Saved • John Bunyan

... the first vital necessities of an army, were often deplorably scarce. In a land of farmers there was food enough. Its lack in the army was chiefly due to bad transport. Clothing was another matter. One of the things insisted upon in a well-trained army is a decent regard for appearance, and in ...
— Washington and his Comrades in Arms - A Chronicle of the War of Independence • George Wrong

... hill station on Nila Koh on border of Dera Ismail Khan and Bannu districts. Elevation 4516 feet. It is on a bare limestone rock with very scanty vegetation and is hot in summer in the daytime. Water is scarce. The Deputy Commissioners of Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan spend part of the ...
— The Panjab, North-West Frontier Province, and Kashmir • Sir James McCrone Douie

... out by its relentless pursuers, is no longer able to fly before them, and at last becomes a prize to the perseverance of the hunters. 3rdly. A small hut of reeds is made near the springs, or water holes, in those districts, where water is scarce; and in this, or in the top of a tree, if there be one near, the native carefully conceals himself, and patiently waits until his game comes to drink, when he is almost sure to strike it with his spear, seldom ...
— Journals Of Expeditions Of Discovery Into Central • Edward John Eyre

... and it did not find them ready. The messenger came into their villages, and they did not know him; they were told, as you are told, to use and occupy their country, and they would not hear. And now you may go through great tracts of the land and scarce meet a man or a smoking house, and see nothing but sheep feeding. The other people that I tell you of have come upon them like a foe in the night, and these are the other people's sheep who browse upon the foundation of their houses. To come nearer; and I have seen this judgment in Oahu also. ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 25 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... are these essays a scarce book in England? In France it is entirely unknown to the numerous commentators ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 46, Saturday, September 14, 1850 • Various

... used to give a branch of mistletoe to the first cow that gave birth to a calf after the first hour of the New Year; and in rural districts of Wales, where mistletoe abounded, there was always a profusion of it in the farmhouses. When mistletoe was scarce, Welsh farmers used to say, "No mistletoe, no luck"; but if there was a fine crop of mistletoe, they expected a fine crop of corn. In Sweden mistletoe is diligently sought after on St. John's Eve, the people "believing it to be, in ...
— The Golden Bough - A study of magic and religion • Sir James George Frazer

... a place; but where friendship is, all offices of life are, as it were, granted to him and his deputy; for he may exercise them by his friend. How many things are there, which a man cannot, with any face or comeliness, say or do himself; A man can scarce allege his own merits with modesty, much less extol them; a man cannot sometimes brook to supplicate, or beg, and a number of the like: but all these things are graceful in a friend's mouth, which are blushing in a man's own. So again, a man's person hath many proper relations which he cannot put ...
— Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 3 • Various

... understood, at all events, that for him there was to be no more supper. If two were to make themselves scarce, he knew that he would be one ...
— Clementina • A.E.W. Mason

... responsible! Our thought, once expressed, no longer belongs to us. Whether it leave us when scarce ripe, because an accident has gathered it, or whether it fall in its season, like the leaf falling from the tree, we know nothing of what it will become; and it is at once the wretchedness and the greatness of human thought to be subjected ...
— The Choice of Life • Georgette Leblanc

... quickly and, moving to the window, flung open a second casement. It was imperative, at that moment, to hide her face; for the uncontrollable flood of emotion at her heart, could scarce fail to send a tell-tale wave to disturb ...
— The White Ladies of Worcester - A Romance of the Twelfth Century • Florence L. Barclay

... Supplies were scarce, salt and sugar almost unavailable. Earth had cut off all shipping until the affair was settled, and nobody in the outlands ...
— Police Your Planet • Lester del Rey

... the sad time, when food was scarce, and most of the little people in the Green Forest and on the Green Meadow went hungry. But Mr. Mink didn't go hungry. Oh, my, no! You see, he had learned to catch fish, and so he had plenty to eat. When Old Mother Nature came to see ...
— Mother West Wind "How" Stories • Thornton W. Burgess

... durable. The natives of Panae and Luzon manufacture a cotton cloth with colored stripes, which is of better quality. This cloth is used by the Spaniards when they can find it; otherwise they use the cloth above-mentioned. Both kinds are so scarce, that we are suffering great privations for lack of clothing. The people are very poor. There are few islands where, as it is reported, gold does not exist—but in so small quantities that quite commonly [as I think I have said] a native can be hired to dig, or to ...
— The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803 - Volume III, 1569-1576 • E.H. Blair

... cotton cloth, which is localized in New England to such an extent that whole districts are dependent upon it for a livelihood, the distress will be great, for the factories closed upon the declaration of war and the workers are a long distance from the Western fields, where laborers are only too scarce. The cheapening of transportation, the rapidity of communication, the superior mobility of the population today over ten years ago, make it probable that these people will soon find ...
— The New York Times Current History of the European War, Vol. 1, January 9, 1915 - What Americans Say to Europe • Various

... the growth of the valley. Indeed Kory-Kory gave me to understand that this was the case; but I never saw a single plant growing on the island. At Nukuheva, and, I believe, in all the other valleys, the weed is very scarce, being only obtained in small quantities from foreigners, and smoking is consequently with the inhabitants of these places a very great luxury. How it was that the Typees were so well furnished with it I cannot divine. I should think them too indolent to devote any attention to its culture; ...
— Typee - A Romance of the South Sea • Herman Melville

... wife continued to be the fast friend of the child whom she had saved from death. The fact that she had done so gave her an interest in it. Her own children were out in service, or at work in the fields; and the child was a pleasure to her. Scarce a day passed, then, that she would not go across the yard up to the infants' ward, and bring Billy down to the lodge; where he would play contentedly by the hour, or sit watching her, and sucking at a cake, while she washed or prepared her ...
— For Name and Fame - Or Through Afghan Passes • G. A. Henty

... blockade of the posts of all importations from abroad, and the necessity of providing for the sustenance of the armies in the field, subjected all classes to various distressing privations and self-denials. There were bread riots in Richmond. Salt became so scarce that the earthen floors of the smoke-houses were scraped to secure the remnants of the brine-drippings of former periods. Flour was at all times painfully scarce. Coffee and tea were almost unattainable. Of the various little comforts and luxuries which by long ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. 31, No. 1, May 1908 • Various

... chiding a little girl, who had been sent a quarter of a mile for a jug of water. I heard the same voice again in action, and for the same cause, and a very dirty urchin again brought some very dirty water. In fact, whiskey was too plentiful and water too scarce. ...
— Canada and the Canadians - Volume I • Sir Richard Henry Bonnycastle

... Artois, was immediately driven across the frontier by the Count de Roeulx, and cut to pieces at St. Valery by Marechal de Cossis, governor of Picardy. This action was upon the 18th July. Of the 2500 men who composed the expedition, scarce 300 escaped. The few Netherlanders who were taken prisoners were given to the Spanish government, and, ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... like silver-gilt, with the gilt rubbed off. His hair was iron-gray, sleek, and carefully combed; his features might have been cast in bronze; Talleyrand himself was not more impassive than this money-lender. A pair of little eyes, yellow as a ferret's, and with scarce an eyelash to them, peered out from under the sheltering peak of a shabby old cap, as if they feared the light. He had the thin lips that you see in Rembrandt's or Metsu's portraits of alchemists and shrunken old men, and a nose ...
— Gobseck • Honore de Balzac

... after them for a moment before he began briskly to gather up the remains of the feast. Tode had some new ideas. He had formerly lived a stratum below the temperance movement; it had scarce troubled his father's cellar; so he had to-day discovered that there were others besides his mother who prayed their sons not to drink a drop of rum. Also that a young man who went and got drunk was considered a fool by elegant young men, such as he had just been serving. ...
— Three People • Pansy

... that," said she, proudly. "It ain't a bit as I can't work, fur I can, real smart at 'chinery needlework. I gets plenty to do, too, but that 'ere landlady, she ain't a bit like mother; she'd trusten nobody, and she up this morning, and mother scarce cold, and says as she'd not let her room to Giles and me 'cept we could get some un to go security fur the rent; and we has no un as 'ud go security, so we must go away the day as mother is buried, and Giles must go to the ...
— Sue, A Little Heroine • L. T. Meade

... Scarce have I known of any place or house that was begun in so great poverty, and yet came, in despite of divers hindrances, to so great an increase of prosperity; but Jesus our Saviour Himself began in the deepest poverty, and His lack did make rich Holy Church. ...
— The Chronicle of the Canons Regular of Mount St. Agnes • Thomas a Kempis

... again across the Bitter Root Mountains and came out upon the head waters of the Kooskooskie River. Unable to follow its canons, they wandered to the north among the mountains. At this time their sufferings were intense. Food became so scarce that they were obliged to eat their horses. After many weary days they again reached the stream, but this time at a point where it was navigable. They floated down to its junction with the Lewis or Snake River, where the ...
— The Western United States - A Geographical Reader • Harold Wellman Fairbanks

... to send immediate orders to his broker in England to sell two millions of consols. The sale was of course effected, the example followed, stocks fell ten per cent., the exchange turned, money became scarce. The public funds of all Europe experienced a great decline, smash went the country banks, consequent runs on the London, a dozen Baronets failed in one morning, Portland Place deserted, the cause of infant Liberty at a terrific discount, the Greek loan disappeared like a vapour in a storm, ...
— Vivian Grey • The Earl of Beaconsfield

... threshing constituted the chief events of the agricultural year. The winters were not cold, and the Babylonian peasant was consequently not obliged to spend a part of the year indoors shivering over a fire. In fact fuel was scarce in the country; few trees were grown in it except the palm, and the fruit of the palm was too valuable to allow it to be cut down. When the ordinary occupations of the farmer had come to an end, he was expected ...
— Babylonians and Assyrians, Life and Customs • Rev. A. H. Sayce

... henceforth he had only to think of himself. Then the King, nearly fainting from a shock so complete and so sudden, fell upon a sofa that stood near. He asked unceasingly for news of all who passed, but scarce anybody dared to reply to him. He had sent for here Tellier, who went into Monseigneur's room; but it was no longer time. It is true the Jesuit, perhaps to console the King, said that he gave him a ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... captain and officers are viewing the gallant vessel with intense anxiety, and scrutinising every evolution that she is making. How does she answer her helm? Beautifully. What leeway does she make? Scarce perceptible. The log is hove repeatedly,—seven, seven-and-a-half, close-hauled. Stand by, the captain is going to work her himself. She advances head to the wind bravely, like a British soldier to the breach—she is about! she has stayed ...
— Rattlin the Reefer • Edward Howard

... brow was drawn on either side to the level of the ears, and between it and the sheet her face, almost as white, was turned with closed eyes to the faces of her brothers and sisters. In its extraordinary peace the face was stronger than ever, nearly all bone now under the scarce-wrinkled parchment of skin—square jaw and chin, cheekbones, forehead with hollow temples, chiselled nose—the fortress of an unconquerable spirit that had yielded to death, and in its upward sightlessness seemed ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... business? who is there born so high, But Love and Beauty equals? And thou mayst chuse from all the wishing World. This Wealth together wou'd inrich one Man, Which dealt to all, wou'd scarce ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. II • Aphra Behn

... with deepening frown was studying his elder daughter's letter, scarce able to believe the evidence of his senses that a girl of ...
— Marcia Schuyler • Grace Livingston Hill Lutz

... Rodomont, with goodly cheer And kindlier mien, the landlord honour paid; For he the port of an illustrious peer In his guest's lofty presence saw pourtrayed. But, sore beside himself, the cavalier Had scarce his heart within him, which had strayed To her — whilere his own — in his despite; Nor ...
— Orlando Furioso • Lodovico Ariosto

... watches her. She sees that woman draw from her pocket gold in plenty, she who has but one louis a week; she looks at her feet and her head, she examines her dress and eyes her as she steps into her carriage; and then, what can you expect? When night has fallen, after a day when work has been scarce, when her mother is sick, she opens her door, stretches out her ...
— Child of a Century, Complete • Alfred de Musset

... and scarce allowing Julian time to dip his hands in a bucket, and dry them on a horse-cloth, he hurried him from the stable back ...
— Peveril of the Peak • Sir Walter Scott

... while the old sacrifices still obtain, especially the horse-sacrifice, the r[a]jas[u]ya and the less meritorious v[a]japeya, together with the monthly and seasonal sacrifices, there is in practice a leaning rather to new sacrifices, and a new cult. The soma is scarce, and the p[u]tika plant is accepted as its substitute (iii. 35. 33) in a matter-of-course way, as if this substitution, permitted of old by law, were now common. The sacrifice of the widow is recognized, in the case of the wives of kings, as a means of obtaining bliss for a woman,[41] ...
— The Religions of India - Handbooks On The History Of Religions, Volume 1, Edited By Morris Jastrow • Edward Washburn Hopkins

... game we have been seeing on this whole trip in this big wild country. Saw an abandoned Klondike camp. They say they are scattered through all these woods here. Sometimes they have found skeletons since. A boy was lost in here and found dead. Traces of the big Klondike migration now getting scarce. Saw some iron on the beach, and ...
— Young Alaskans in the Far North • Emerson Hough

... Horace Walpole's pets at Strawberry Hill, his country-seat, when Gray visited him there. Gray's first book was printed privately by Horace, who had ample means and recognized genius. The book is scarce now; it fetches five pounds ...
— Old Valentines - A Love Story • Munson Aldrich Havens

... tiresome when swung to the belt, and adopted the plan of fastening them to the saddle on the left side, with the hilt in front and in reach of the hand. Finally sabres got very scarce even among the cavalrymen, who relied more and ...
— Detailed Minutiae of Soldier life in the Army of Northern Virginia, 1861-1865 • Carlton McCarthy

... alter their course for some secret service; not to mention the chance of conflict with a vessel of superior power—no improbable occurrence before the battle of Trafalgar. Information about relatives on board men-of-war was scarce and scanty, and often picked up by hearsay or chance means; and every scrap of ...
— Memoir of Jane Austen • James Edward Austen-Leigh

... parallel,—the aide-de-camp of Prince Eugene calling on John Adams, American Ambassador to England. Most long lives resemble those threads of gossamer, the nearest approach to nothing unmeaningly prolonged, scarce visible pathway of some worm from his cradle to his grave; but Quincy's was strung with seventy active years, each one a rounded bead of usefulness ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 121, November, 1867 • Various

... so incredible that Scotland, which had so long successfully resisted all invaders, should now tamely yield without a struggle, that the people could scarce believe it possible that their boasted freedom was gone, that the kingdom of Scotland was no more, and the country become a mere portion of England. Thus, while the nobles with their Norman blood ...
— In Freedom's Cause • G. A. Henty

... Artillery, was fighting at great disadvantage, and already much cut up. Poetic authority asserts that 'Old Virginny never tires,' and the conduct of this battery justified the assertion of the muses. With scarce a leg or wheel for man and horse, gun or caisson, to stand on, it continued to hammer away at the crushing fire above." And further on in the same narrative he says, "Meanwhile, the Rockbridge Battery held on manfully and engaged the enemy's attention." Dr. Dabney's ...
— The Story of a Cannoneer Under Stonewall Jackson • Edward A. Moore

... honours, your wealth, on the brave, If you did not, perhaps, scarce a man would enlist; But forget not the gain of each penny you save, And starve these poor ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 103, December 10, 1892 • Various

... north, a few days later we crossed the main Brazos at a low stage of water. But from there to Red River was a trial not to be repeated. Wire fences halted us at every turn. Owners of pastures refused permission to pass through. Lanes ran in the wrong direction, and open country for pasturage was scarce. What we dreaded most, lack of drink for the herd, was the least of our troubles, necessity requiring its purchase only three or four times. And like a climax to a week of sore trials, when we were in sight of Red River a sand and dust storm ...
— The Outlet • Andy Adams

... the most distinguished Royalists have warmly condemned. We are informed by Clarendon that there was hardly a man of note in the realm who had not personal experience of the harshness and greediness of the Star Chamber, that the High Commission had so conducted itself that it had scarce a friend left in the kingdom, and that the tyranny of the Council of York had made the Great Charter a dead letter on the north of ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 1 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... should have overtopp'd, Saul-like, the level of the multitude? Where the bold front that in the breach of wrong Stemm'd the fierce current of insidious foes, Flashing Truth's falchion in the van of Time? Shame! it hath rusted in its scabbard, till The nerveless arm can scarce withdraw it thence. O Earth! rejoice that at his side there comes An undimm'd light to beacon on the world; One who upholds the honour of his line Unsullied as the glory of the stars; Whose voice rings clear above the battle strife, And shakes oppression from his iron throne; ...
— Eidolon - The Course of a Soul and Other Poems • Walter R. Cassels

... his careless skirts, that have been sweeping the patient, half-drowned world, as he draws nigh the threshold of the waiting night. There was a great lump of orange color half melted up in the watery clouds of the west, but all was dreary and scarce consolable, up to the clear spaces above, stung with the steely stars that began to peep out of the blue hope of heaven. Thither Hester kept casting up her eyes as they walked, or rather somehow her eyes kept travelling thitherward of themselves, as if indeed they had to do ...
— Weighed and Wanting • George MacDonald

... accustomed corner here is,— The table still is in the nook; Ah! vanished many a busy year is, This well-known chair since last I took, When first I saw ye, cari luoghi, I'd scarce a beard upon my face, And now a grizzled, grim old fogy, I sit and ...
— The Home Book of Verse, Vol. 4 (of 4) • Various

... came once, but in anger. Impatient of my importunity she brought with her an avenging dream. By the clock of St. Jean Baptiste, that dream remained scarce fifteen minutes—a brief space, but sufficing to wring my whole frame with unknown anguish; to confer a nameless experience that had the hue, the mien, the terror, the very tone of a visitation from eternity. Between twelve and one that ...
— Where No Fear Was - A Book About Fear • Arthur Christopher Benson

... seats of even the very wealthy are generally constructed chiefly of that substance. Bricks however, are by no means easily made in the Congo, for in many places the soil is very sandy and it is therefore difficult to make the brick bind. Again, lime is very scarce and all manner of substances are used to make mortar. Among these the ant hills are much in favour, for it has been observed that these structures which are often thirty feet high and in proportion great in diameter, never disintegrate ...
— A Journal of a Tour in the Congo Free State • Marcus Dorman

... said the Interpreter, 'has lain by till it is almost rusty. "Give me not riches," is scarce the prayer of one ...
— Humanly Speaking • Samuel McChord Crothers

... thoroughly liked the inns of Germany which I have known. They are not clean, and water is very scarce. Smiles, too, are generally wanting, and I have usually fancied myself to be regarded as a piece of goods out of which so much ...
— Volume 2 • Anthony Trollope

... ever been the privilege of wits to satirize the life of society with impunity, provided that licence does not degenerate into frenzy. Wherefore the more do I marvel at the fastidiousness of men's ears in these times, who by now can scarce endure anything but solemn appellations. Further, we see some men so perversely religious that they will suffer the most hideous revilings against Christ sooner than let prince or pope be sullied by the lightest jest, particularly if this concerns monetary gain. But if a man censures ...
— Erasmus and the Age of Reformation • Johan Huizinga

... Natural agents as sources of monopoly. "Economic" monopoly, so-called, arises when the ownership of scarce natural agents, as mines, land, water-power, comes under the control of one man or one group of men who agree on a price. Economic monopoly is a result of private property that is undesigned by the government ...
— Modern Economic Problems - Economics Vol. II • Frank Albert Fetter

... top of the sand-hill. A heavy sea was still breaking on the sands, but there was scarce a breath of wind, and the sea, though rough and agitated, was no longer covered with white heads, and looked bright in the rosy light. The boat lay where they had left it, securely anchored by the weight of the sand it contained. Their next glance ...
— With Cochrane the Dauntless • George Alfred Henty



Words linked to "Scarce" :   meagerly, barely, scrimpy, hardly, scarceness, scarcely, scarcity, stingy, rare, meager, just, tight, meagre



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