eco·​nom·​i·​cal | \ˌe-kə-ˈnä-mi-kəl, ˌē-kə-\

Definition of economical 

1 : marked by careful, efficient, and prudent use of resources : thrifty an economical shopper

2 : operating with little waste or at a saving an economical car

3 archaic : economic sense 5

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Choose the Right Synonym for economical

sparing, frugal, thrifty, economical mean careful in the use of one's money or resources. sparing stresses abstention and restraint. sparing in the offering of advice frugal implies absence of luxury and simplicity of lifestyle. ran a frugal household thrifty stresses good management and industry. thrifty use of nonrenewable resources economical stresses prudent management, lack of wastefulness, and use of things to their best advantage. an economical health-care plan

economical, thrifty, and sparing mean careful in the use of money or goods. economical means using things in the best possible way without wasting anything. She's an economical cook who feeds us well. thrifty is used when someone manages things well and is industrious. A thrifty shopper can save money. sparing is used when someone spends or uses as little as possible. They are very sparing in giving money to charity.

Examples of economical in a Sentence

an economical way to heat your house a practical and economical solution to the problem

Recent Examples on the Web

Why open a new factory that’s only economical because of tariffs when the very existence of the tariffs depends on the whims of a mercurial and unpopular president? Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "A Wall Street Journal interview on trade shows Trump has no idea what he’s doing," 27 Nov. 2018 Consumers benefit from making economical choices, and providers are rewarded with more customers for delivering good value. Alain Enthoven, WSJ, "A Better Choice for Employee Health Care," 22 Nov. 2018 Riding it around and around will strike a certain type of person as a fine — not to mention economical — way to pass a few hours. Richard Rubin, New York Times, "The Perfect Way to Explore Modern Kansas City? A Streetcar, Believe It or Not," 4 July 2018 The West Coast offers the most economical route because of its relative proximity to the largest coal-producing region in the U.S.: the Powder River Basin, which straddles the Montana-Wyoming border. Matthew Brown, The Seattle Times, "West Coast military installations eyed for US fuel exports," 16 Oct. 2018 The best way to ensure a perfect fit is to buy a mounting kit from the manufacturer that built your set, but that's not always the most economical choice. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "How to Hang a TV," 23 July 2018 Other options mooted have included setting up tent cities in the nearby desert, which would offer an economical sense of adventure, if not ultimate luxury. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Qatar is the World Cup every fan should attend," 13 July 2018 Near Caesar's Creek is the economical Dairy Shed in Bellbrook, Ohio. Carrie Blackmore Smith,, "Unique summer outings to explore with the kids this summer in Cincinnati," 5 June 2018 Riding it around and around will strike a certain type of person as a fine — not to mention economical — way to pass a few hours. Richard Rubin, kansascity, "The New York Times came to KC and fell in love with the streetcar," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'economical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of economical

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for economical

The first known use of economical was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of economical

: using money, resources, etc., carefully

—used to describe a product that is not expensive to own and use


eco·​nom·​i·​cal | \ˌe-kə-ˈnä-mi-kəl, ˌē-\

Kids Definition of economical

1 : using what is available carefully and without waste : frugal economical cooking

2 : operating with little waste an economical car

Other Words from economical

economically adverb

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Comments on economical

What made you want to look up economical? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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