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 frugal (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 The $7 million annual salary was a huge leap for the usually frugal Donald Stern. Larry Starks, USA Today, 20 June 2021 Below, 16 Forbes Finance Council members share the frugal and growth-oriented habits of wealthy people that anyone would be wise to copy. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 17 June 2021 Brands franchises and Morristown Driver’s Services, a transportation logistics provider, keeps a frugal budget in what’s typically a free-spending industry. David Smith, Forbes, 31 May 2021 These poisonous portraits bear little resemblance to the industrious, worried, frugal, devoted and self-reliant woman who emerges from my research as a professor of history and women’s studies. Martha Saxton, The Conversation, 7 May 2021 An ultra-frugal chip might be able to get away with a smaller one. The Economist, 14 Apr. 2021 When your dream kitchen is out of reach, stick-on tiles are a frugal shortcut to a pretty backsplash. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 6 May 2021 Remember, Belichick is well-known for being frugal. Dj Siddiqi, Forbes, 28 Apr. 2021 Fundraising usually means the difference between running a robust or frugal campaign. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 Apr. 2021

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

1542, 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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Last Updated

23 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Frugal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/frugal. Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for frugal

frugal

adjective

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

More from Merriam-Webster on frugal

Nglish: Translation of frugal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of frugal for Arabic Speakers

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