What is a dearth? (From Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre)

A dearth is an inadequate supply.

To this crib I always took my doll; human beings must love something, and, in the dearth of worthier objects of affection, I contrived to find a pleasure in loving and cherishing a faded graven image, shabby as a miniature scarecrow. It puzzles me now to remember with what absurd sincerity I doted on this little toy, half fancying it alive and capable of sensation.

From Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre.