dearth


dearth

noun

  1. an inadequate supply; scarcity; lack: There is a dearth of good engineers.
  2. scarcity and dearness of food; famine.

noun

  1. an inadequate amount, esp of food; scarcity
n.

mid-13c., derthe “scarcity” (originally used of famines, when food was costly because scarce; extended to other situations of scarcity from early 14c.), abstract noun formed from root of Old English deore “precious, costly” (see dear) + abstract noun suffix -th (2). Common Germanic formation, though not always with the same sense (cf. Old Saxon diurtha “splendor, glory, love,” Middle Dutch dierte, Dutch duurte, Old High German tiurida “glory”).

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