AskDefine | Define dearth

Dictionary Definition



1 an acute insufficiency [syn: famine, shortage]
2 an insufficient quantity or number [syn: paucity]

User Contributed Dictionary



First attested in 1596. From derþe, probably from *dierþu; corresponding to dear + -th.



  1. A period or condition when food is rare and hence expensive; famine.
    • 1608, William Shakespeare, King Lear:
      I promise you, the effects he writes of succeed unhappily: as of unnaturalness between the child and the parent; death, dearth, dissolutions of ancient amities; divisions in state, menaces and maledictions against king and nobles; needless diffidences, banishment of friends, dissipation of cohorts, nuptial breaches, and I know not what.
  2. In the context of "by extension": Scarcity; a lack or short supply.
  3. In the context of "obsolete|rare": Dearness; the quality of being rare or costly.


period when food is rare
  • Dutch: duurte (expensive), hongersnood (famine)
  • Finnish: nälänhätä
  • German: Hungersnot
  • Polish: niedostatek , głód
  • Dutch: schaarste
  • French: pénurie
  • German: Mangel
  • Polish: brak
  • Spanish: escasez


Extensive Definition

James Dearth (born January 22, 1976) is a National Football League long snapper / tight end for the New York Jets. Dearth was a 6th round pick (191st overall) in the 1999 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns out of Tarleton State University

High school years

Dearth attended Scurry-Rosser High School in Scurry, Texas and was a student and a letterman in football. In football, he was a starter at both, quarterback and middle linebacker, and was an All-State honoree at both positions.

NFL career

Dearth was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the sixth round (191st overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft.

2006 season

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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