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adjective par·si·mo·ni·ous \ˌpär-sə-ˈmō-nē-əs\

Simple Definition of parsimonious

  • : very unwilling to spend money

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of parsimonious

  1. 1 :  exhibiting or marked by parsimony; especially :  frugal to the point of stinginess

  2. 2 :  sparing, restrained



Examples of parsimonious in a sentence

  1. A society that is parsimonious in its personal charity (in terms of both time and money) will require more government welfare. —William J. Bennett, The Death of Outrage, 1998

  2. Their merchant princes were supposed to be parsimonious and austere: fustian in apparel and coarse in diet. —Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches, 1988

  3. With saints, Dante is apathetic. They are written with a dry pen, and parsimonious vision. —Robert Lowell, Collected Prose, 1987

  4. <a parsimonious woman who insists that charity begins—and ends—at home>

Did You Know?

English isn't stingy when it comes to synonyms of parsimonious. Stingy, close, penurious, and miserly are a few terms that, like parsimonious, suggest an unwillingness to share with others. Stingy implies a marked lack of generosity, whereas close suggests keeping a tight grip on one's money and possessions. Penurious implies frugality that gives an appearance of actual poverty, and miserly suggests avariciousness and a morbid pleasure in hoarding. Parsimonious usually suggests an extreme frugality that borders on stinginess.

Origin and Etymology of parsimonious

(see parsimony)

First Known Use: 1598

Synonym Discussion of parsimonious

stingy, close, niggardly, parsimonious, penurious, miserly mean being unwilling or showing unwillingness to share with others. stingy implies a marked lack of generosity <a stingy child, not given to sharing>. close suggests keeping a tight grip on one's money and possessions <folks who are very close when charity calls>. niggardly implies giving or spending the very smallest amount possible <the niggardly amount budgeted for the town library>. parsimonious suggests a frugality so extreme as to lead to stinginess <a parsimonious lifestyle notably lacking in luxuries>. penurious implies niggardliness that gives an appearance of actual poverty <the penurious eccentric bequeathed a fortune>. miserly suggests a sordid avariciousness and a morbid pleasure in hoarding <a miserly couple devoid of social conscience>.

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