Simple Definition of frugal
: careful about spending money or using things when you do not need to : using money or supplies in a very careful way
: simple and plain
Examples of frugal in a sentence
His meals are the frugal fare of the poor: tea, bread, yogurt, a bit of cheese, vegetables. —Johanna McGeary, Time , 25 Oct. 2004
Like frugal cooks everywhere, Cajun cooks from generations past found plenty of ways to use every part of the animals they raised. —Jeremy Sauer, Cook's Country, June 1995
In a frugal white frame house of tiny rooms that shook with every passing freight train, five boys of German immigrant background had grown up at the turn of the twentieth century. —Robert D. Kaplan, An Empire Wilderness, 1988
a frugal meal of bread and cheese
<by being frugal, the family is able to stretch its monthly budget>
Did You Know?
Those who are frugal are unwilling to (lavishly) enjoy the fruits of their labors, so it may surprise you to learn that frugal ultimately derives from the Latin frux, meaning "fruit" or "value," and is even a distant cousin of the Latin word for "enjoy" (frui). The connection between fruit/value and restraint was first made in Latin; the Middle French word that English speakers eventually adopted as frugal came from the Latin adjective frugalis, a frux descendant meaning "virtuous" or "frugal." Although English speakers adopted frugal by the early 17th century, they were already lavishly supplied with earlier coinages to denote the idea, including sparing and thrifty.
Origin of frugal
Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin frugalis virtuous, frugal, from frug-, frux fruit, value; akin to Latin frui to enjoy
First Known Use: 1590
Synonym Discussion of frugal
FRUGAL Defined for Kids
Definition of frugal for Students
1 : careful in spending or using supplies
2 : simple and without unnecessary things <a frugal meal>
Seen and Heard
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