cheap·​skate ˈchēp-ˌskāt How to pronounce cheapskate (audio)
: a miserly or stingy person
especially : one who tries to avoid paying a fair share of costs or expenses

Example Sentences

a cheapskate who lived like a pauper, she was reputedly the wealthiest woman in the U.S. at the time of her death
Recent Examples on the Web Supporters of the new verification system have criticized those unwilling to pay as cheapskates or worse, and the argument would have an internal sort of logic if the new product did the same thing as the old product. Brian Fung, CNN, 24 Apr. 2023 Andy’s a cheapskate. Phillip Picardi, Vogue, 16 Dec. 2020 Clearly, this isn't your cheapskate uncle's Spectra. Joe Lorio, Car and Driver, 6 Dec. 2022 Buffett may be, like Scrooge, kind of a cheapskate with personal expenditures, but unlike Scrooge (and unlike Gramm), Buffett believes that the wealthy are undertaxed. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 22 Sep. 2022 When the Halos somehow lucked into Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani — the best player in baseball and the most exciting, respectively — Moreno suddenly turned into a cheapskate and didn’t surround them with a competitive team. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 24 Aug. 2022 The Rhodes Memorial, in other words, is not of the cheapskate, Soviet variety. Hedley Twidle, Harper's Magazine, 23 Nov. 2021 Working against this is that as long as Fisher keeps payroll rock-bottom and doesn’t mind criticism of his cheapskate business model, the A’s are still profitable. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 May 2021 DeJoy was a rabid Yankees fan, a fierce opponent of organized labor, a maestro with profanity, a cheapskate professionally but a showoff personally, and a sharp dresser who sometimes welcomed tailors to his office and enforced a strict dress code. Washington Post, 31 Aug. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cheapskate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1898, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cheapskate was in 1898

Dictionary Entries Near cheapskate

Cite this Entry

“Cheapskate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


cheap·​skate ˈchēp-ˌskāt How to pronounce cheapskate (audio)
: a miserly or stingy person
especially : one who tries to avoid paying his or her fair share

-skate from earlier skate "a person," probably from a dialect word skite, meaning "an offensive person"

More from Merriam-Webster on cheapskate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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