The noun scantiness is the state of there not being enough of something. If you are facing a scantiness of food, your stomach will probably start to growl.

A scantiness of fleas on your dog is a good thing, but a scantiness of food in your refrigerator isn't so great. There's also the scantiness of clothing that doesn't cover up much. For example, the scantiness of your high school prom dress might inspire your mom to hand you a sweater as you walk out the door. Scantiness comes from scant, "barely sufficient," with its Old Norse root, skamt, "short." In the 1920's, scanties was slang for "women's underwear."

Definitions of scantiness
  1. noun
    the quality of being meager
    synonyms: exiguity, leanness, meagerness, meagreness, poorness, scantness
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    meagerness or poorness connoted by a superfluity of water (in a literary style as well as in a food)
    restricted to bare necessities
    spareness, sparseness, sparsity, thinness
    the property of being scanty or scattered; lacking denseness
    type of:
    deficiency, inadequacy, insufficiency
    lack of an adequate quantity or number
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