if there is a scarcity of something, there is not enough of it and it is difficult to obtain it synonym shortage a time of scarcity a scarcity of resourcesExtra examples In times of scarcity, lions will travel great distances in search of food. Old properties in the town have acquired a scarcity value. There is a great scarcity of food in the drought-stricken areas. The job was made more difficult because of a scarcity of data. We must ensure that the animals are given food in times of scarcity.