adjective eco·nom·i·cal \ ˌe-kə-ˈnä-mi-kəl , ˌē-kə- \
|Updated on: 14 Aug 2018

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 5

Examples of economical in a Sentence

  1. an economical way to heat your house

  2. a practical and economical solution to the problem

Recent Examples of economical from the Web

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.

First Known Use of economical

15th century

in the meaning defined at sense 3

See Words from the same year
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Synonym Discussion of 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 Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of economical for English Language Learners

  • : using money, resources, etc., carefully

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

ECONOMICAL Defined for Kids


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

Definition of economical for Students

1 : using what is available carefully and without waste : frugal
  • economical cooking
2 : operating with little waste
  • an economical car



Synonym Discussion of economical

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.

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fullness to the point of excess

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