fru·​gal·​i·​ty frü-ˈga-lə-tē How to pronounce frugality (audio)
: the quality or state of being frugal : careful management of material resources and especially money : thrift
For these renters, the philosophy is more about having it all … than it is about hardship or frugality.Roya Wolverson
The conference table, like all the company's desks, is made of a door bolted to two-by-fours, a deliberate message of frugality to employees of a company that is losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year.Saul Hansell

Examples of frugality in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Whereas frugality is about the intrinsic virtue of an action—baking a pie is frugal unto itself—efficiency asks about the system as a whole: Is baking a pie or buying one at the store more efficient? Coco Krumme, WIRED, 13 Sep. 2023 At Amazon, frugality is literally one of our leadership principles. Patrick Frater, Variety, 31 Aug. 2023 At a street market in Suzhou, a butcher named Jiang Yongming stood behind a table covered in slabs of raw pork and complained about the lingering frugality of his neighborhood’s residents. Keith Bradsher, New York Times, 17 Apr. 2023 Mindful of the soured mood in crypto, Haun Ventures’ April gathering radiated a modest frugality: Peet's Coffee in a large dispenser and picnic box lunches from La Fromagerie. Leo Schwartz, Fortune, 2 Aug. 2023 Global health experts believe this frugality will ultimately prove costly in more ways than one. Jennifer Lotito, Forbes, 17 July 2023 Maybe this frugality is meant to give Cruise different people to play against, and to keep the cast fresh. Vulture, 13 July 2023 The frugality may not all be attributed to waning enthusiasm; concerns linger that the Fed’s interest rate increases may spark a recession. Justin Ray, Robb Report, 15 June 2023 The coach revels in the frugality the team has displayed in assembling offensive weapons in the past. Christopher L. Gasper,, 13 June 2023 See More

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

Word History


borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French frugalité, borrowed from Latin frūgālitāt-, frūgālitās "steadiness of life, temperance, self-restraint," from frūgāl-, base of frūgālior and frūgālissimus, comparative and superlative degrees of frūgī "having merit or worth, deserving, sober, thrifty" + -itāt-, -itās -ity — more at frugal

First Known Use

1531, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of frugality was in 1531

Dictionary Entries Near frugality

Cite this Entry

“Frugality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on frugality

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!