Definition of scarce adverb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

scarce

 adverb
adverb
BrE BrE//skeəs//
 
; NAmE NAmE//skers//
 
 
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(literary) only just; almost not I can scarce remember him. Word Origin Middle English (in the sense ‘restricted in quantity or size’, also ‘mean’): from a shortening of Anglo-Norman escars, from a Romance word meaning ‘plucked out, selected’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: scarce