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 advicefrugal implies absence of luxury and simplicity of lifestyle.
ran a frugal household thrifty stresses good management and industry.
thrifty use of nonrenewable resourceseconomical stresses prudent management, lack of wastefulness, and use of things to their best advantage.
an economical health-care plan
Frugal Has Surprising Roots
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 or 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 16th century, they were already lavishly supplied with earlier coinages to denote the idea, including sparing and thrifty.
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. 2004Like 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 1995In 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
Recent Examples on the WebThat potential reduction, which was stipulated by the legislature, is of great concern to labor advocates who argue the program already is far too frugal.
Keith M. Phaneuf, Hartford Courant, 6 Aug. 2022 The Dacia proved reliable, frugal, and comfy to drive and sleep in.
Jonathon Ramsey, Car and Driver, 8 July 2022 Professor Vijay Pereira argues that some cultures have naturally followed frugal innovation due to limited resources and lack of finance.
Benjamin Laker, Forbes, 5 May 2022 With high inflation costing many Americans more, a small but enthusiastic group of already-super-frugal people are taking their saving strategies further.
Clare Ansberry, WSJ, 17 June 2022 Advice for overly frugal people who don't know how to spend money, sometimes at their own expense, is harder to find.
Fortune, 29 May 2022 Money is taken from frugal people and given to spendthrifts.
William Baldwin, Forbes, 9 Dec. 2021 Barnett spent her life being frugal and careful with her finances, running a small graphic design business, saving for retirement and paying premiums for long-term health care insurance.
Diane Bellcolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 June 2022 Jeff Beaudry of Laurel may be a bit frugal himself — or at least someone who hates to see a perfectly good item tossed out.
John Kelly, Washington Post, 29 June 2022 See More
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'frugal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.