meager

Meager means small and often applies to portions. Your mother may only allow you a meager serving of chocolate cake, and you may need to eat a meager serving of veggies in order to deserve that dessert.

Meager doesn't mean adequate — it means not enough. People with a limited supply of food may try to subsist on meager portions. People who make a meager amount of money probably have a hard time making rent. Meager and emaciated both derive from the Old French maigre. If you can remember that you will look emaciated if your diet is meager, you’ll use the word correctly.

Definitions of meager
  1. adjective
    deficient in amount or quality or extent
    meager resources”
    meager fare”
    synonyms: meagerly, meagre, scrimpy, stingy
    scarce
    deficient in quantity or number compared with the demand
    bare, scanty, spare
    lacking in amplitude or quantity
    exiguous
    extremely scanty
    hand-to-mouth
    providing only bare essentials
    hardscrabble
    barely satisfying a lower standard
    measly, miserable, paltry
    contemptibly small in amount
    minimal, minimum
    the least possible
    deficient, insufficient
    of a quantity not able to fulfill a need or requirement
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    Antonyms:
    ample
    more than enough in size or scope or capacity
    abundant
    present in great quantity
    full, good
    having the normally expected amount
    generous
    more than adequate
    full, wide, wide-cut
    having ample fabric
    sufficient
    of a quantity that can fulfill a need or requirement but without being abundant
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