The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Scarce \Scarce\ (sk[^a]rs), a. [Compar. Scarcer
(sk[^a]r"s[~e]r); superl. Scarcest.] [OE. scars, OF.
escars, eschars, LL. scarpsus, excarpsus, for L. excerptus,
p. p. of excerpere to pick out, and hence to contract, to
shorten; ex (see Ex-) + carpere. See Carpet, and cf.
1. Not plentiful or abundant; in small quantity in proportion
to the demand; not easily to be procured; rare; uncommon.
You tell him silver is scarcer now in England, and
therefore risen one fifth in value. --Locke.
The scarcest of all is a Pescennius Niger on a
medallion well preserved. --Addison.
2. Scantily supplied (with); deficient (in); -- with of.
[Obs.] "A region scarce of prey." --Milton.
3. Sparing; frugal; parsimonious; stingy. [Obs.] "Too scarce
ne too sparing." --Chaucer.
To make one's self scarce, to decamp; to depart. [Slang]
Syn: Rare; infrequent; deficient. See Rare.
[1913 Webster] Scarce