Etymology
Advertisement

scanty (adj.)

1650s, "meager, barely sufficient for use;" 1701, "too small, limited in scope, lacking amplitude or extent," from scant (adj.) + -y (2). Related: Scantiness "insufficiency" (1560s). Scanties (n.) "underwear" (especially for women) is attested from 1928.

To speken of the horrible disordinat scantnesse of clothyng as ben thise kutted sloppes or hanselyns, that thurgh hire shortnesse ne couere nat the shameful membres of man to wikked entente. [Chaucer, "Parson's Tale"]

updated on January 16, 2022

Advertisement
Advertisement
Definitions of scanty from WordNet
1
scanty (adj.)
lacking in magnitude or quantity;
a scanty harvest
Synonyms: bare / spare
scanty (adj.)
(of clothing) revealing the body;
her dress was scanty and revealing
Synonyms: skimpy
2
scanty (n.)
short underpants for women or children (usually used in the plural);
Synonyms: pantie / panty / step-in
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.