Dearth \DURTH\ , noun;
1. An inadequate supply; scarcity; lack
This word dates to the mid-13th century and comes from Old English derthe ("scarcity"), which is an abstract noun formed from deore + -th ("precious, costly" + suffix changing a verb into a noun). Originally derthe was used to talk about famines, where food was expensive because of its scarcity. But, but the early 14th century its usage had been expanded to include other situations where things were scarce.
Today's word and the first definition were both taken from Dictionary.com's 'Word of the Day' for Wednesday, July 20
Etymologies come from the Oxford English Dictionary and/or Etymonline.com