dearth - noun
Scarcity, inadequate supply (usually of something desirable).
Reverence is the highest quality of man’s nature; and that individual, or nation, which has it slightly developed, is so far unfortunate. It is a strong spiritual instinct, and seeks to form channels for itself where none exists; thus Americans, in the dearth of other objects to worship, fall to worshipping themselves.
—Lydia M. Child Letters from New York (1843)
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