We refer to an amount or thing that is not quite enough as scanty, or lacking. It's an adjective used to describe something that doesn't offer enough, as in "farmers having a scanty crop in a drought year."

The adjective scanty comes from the Old Norse scamt, which means "short or brief," and so suggests a small amount. The word usually suggests a meager amount, and can refer to anything that is barely sufficient. Someone trying to stretch a meal might offer scanty servings. On a humorous note, a Roaring Twenties flapper referred to her underwear as scanties.

Definitions of scanty
  1. adjective
    lacking in amplitude or quantity
    “a scanty harvest”
    synonyms: bare, spare
    meager, meagerly, meagre, scrimpy, stingy
    deficient in amount or quality or extent
  2. noun
    short underpants for women or children (usually used in the plural)
    synonyms: pantie, panty, step-in
    see moresee less
    type of:
    an undergarment that covers the body from the waist no further than to the thighs; usually worn next to the skin
Word Family