frugal

adjective
fru·​gal | \ ˈfrü-gəl How to pronounce frugal (audio) \

Definition of frugal

: characterized by or reflecting economy in the use of resources

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Other Words from frugal

frugally \ ˈfrü-​gə-​lē How to pronounce frugally (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for frugal

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

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/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 late 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. 2004 Like 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 1995 In 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
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Recent Examples on the Web Her brother had a mental illness, and Wu had adopted an extremely frugal lifestyle to save money to help care for him. Eric Cheung And Yong Xiong, CNN, "A student was too poor to buy enough food. Her death has raised poverty concerns in China," 14 Jan. 2020 Here are a few of our favorite frugal recipes from the book: Marica’s Strapponi with Porcini Mushrooms Known as a forager’s supper, this dish hails from the steeply wooded parts of Italy that are a mushroom hunter’s heaven. Erin Booke, Dallas News, "Pasta Granny goals: 3 frugal recipes from our new favorite cookbook," 7 Jan. 2020 This saying dates back to the 1700s or earlier, and reminds us that being frugal can keep us from being left empty handed. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "10 Deer Parts That Will Keep You Alive," 17 Dec. 2019 Be frugal and build a company that is profitable and create value using products and innovation. Itika Sharma Punit, Quartz India, "MobiKwik, one of India’s leading fintech firms, would rather be a cockroach than unicorn," 25 Nov. 2019 But the role of grandchildren is to move forward and forget, to become far too busy for the laborious, frugal food that fortified our childhoods. Charlotte Mendelson, The New Yorker, "A Search for My Grandmother’s Lost Chicken Paprikash," 9 Oct. 2019 Buyers will surely forgive the styling for its 52 to 53 mpgs and an equally frugal price of $23,880, including the $930 freight charge from Japan. San Diego Union-Tribune, "2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE: A versatile 52 mpg," 30 Aug. 2019 Being frugal with holiday meal shopping can go far, says Summer Red, professional development manager at the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education. cleveland, "No holiday savings yet? Here’s how to build funds fast," 2 Nov. 2019 His father was exceedingly frugal and sometimes violent. The Economist, "Big Bird flies away," 14 Dec. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of frugal

1590, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for frugal

Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin frugalis virtuous, frugal, from frug-, frux fruit, value; akin to Latin frui to enjoy

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Time Traveler for frugal

Time Traveler

The first known use of frugal was in 1590

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Last Updated

3 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Frugal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/frugal. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for frugal

frugal

adjective
How to pronounce frugal (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of frugal

: careful about spending money or using things when you do not need to : using money or supplies in a very careful way
: simple and plain

frugal

adjective
fru·​gal | \ ˈfrü-gəl How to pronounce frugal (audio) \

Kids Definition of frugal

1 : careful in spending or using supplies
2 : simple and without unnecessary things a frugal meal

Other Words from frugal

frugally adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on frugal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for frugal

Spanish Central: Translation of frugal

Nglish: Translation of frugal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of frugal for Arabic Speakers

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