Etymology
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scarce (adj.)

c. 1300, "restricted in quantity," from Old North French scars "scanty, scarce" (Old French eschars, Modern French échars) from Vulgar Latin *scarsus, from *escarpsus, from *excarpere "pluck out," from classical Latin excerpere "pluck out" (see excerpt). As an adverb early 14c. from the adjective. Phrase to make oneself scarce "go away" first attested 1771, noted as a current "cant phrase." Related: Scarcely.

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Definitions of scarce
1
scarce (adv.)
only a very short time before; "would have scarce arrived before she would have found some excuse to leave"- W.B.Yeats;
Synonyms: barely / hardly / just / scarcely
scarce (adv.)
almost not;
he was scarce sixteen years old
Synonyms: hardly / scarcely / barely
2
scarce (adj.)
deficient in quantity or number compared with the demand;
fresh vegetables were scarce during the drought
From wordnet.princeton.edu